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As Jenny, McDonald not only looked seductive and acted well but sang beautifully, especially when paired with robust voiced tenor Anthony Dean Griffey. Griffey was a perfect choice for Jimmy McIntyre, the gullible and naive young man who has not learned the hard lessons of a cruel world. It's too bad that he did not have more music to sing, but he sang what was there with burnished bronze tones. His acting was as intense as McDonald's, too. They made a fine pair of young lovers as they sang with lustrous sounds.

Anthony Dean Griffey as  Jim McIntyre. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Anthony Dean Griffey as Jim McIntyre. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

Patti LuPone was a forceful Leocadia Begbick with few visible redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, her excellent acting skills could not make up for inadequate vocal ability. Doyle's direction related the story of this sad collection of broken people in a straight forward manner, but he seemed unaccustomed to dealing with a three thousand seat house. The sets by Mark Bailey created the proper atmosphere for the piece and kept it in its time frame. Ann Hould-Ward's costumes, too, brought to mind the thirties and focused on the degradation that poor people of that era sometimes suffered. John Easterlin was an energetic Jack O'Brien, Mel Ulrich, an authoritative Bank Account Bill, Steven Humes, a spirited Alaska Wolf Joe and Derek Taylor, an emotionally direct Toby Higgins.

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Copyright © 18 March 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller