Have a night ‘On the Town’ at Northbrook Theatre

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Cast of On the Town at Northbrook Theatre (Zach Dalir Photography)
Cast of On the Town at Northbrook Theatre (Zach Dalin Photography)

Catch “On The Town,” a high-energy wartime musical about three sailors on a 24-hour leave who are looking for love and adventure in New York City. Performed by the Highland Park Players through October 28, this Tony Award-nominated musical features thrilling music by Leonard Bernstein with playful lyrics and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

What makes this show so unique (and challenging) is the blending of musical comedy with ballet, just as the young Bernstein envisioned and would go to recreate in “West Side Story” as well. If you listen carefully, you can hear some of the same musical arrangements made famous in “West Side Story,” yet Bernstein was only 26. The Highland Park Players pull it off with amazing choreography, beautiful singing and impressive costumes.

Based on the 1944 Broadway show and 1949 film starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munchin, On the Town captures a time when anything and everything was possible. While humor runs throughout the show, it leaves the audience with an uncertain, but hopeful ending.

“On The Town” is directed and choreographed by Dina DiCostanzo. The production stars Aaron Stash as Ozzie, Christopher Johnson as Gabey, Steven Schur as Chip, Brittny Goon as Claire, Justine Klein as Hildy, Ariana Cappuccitti as Ivy, Naomi Hershman as Madame Dilly and Geoff Isaac as Pitkin.

Aaron Stash, Brittny Goon, Christopher Johnson, Justine Klein and Steve Schur in On The Town (Zach Dalin Photography)
Aaron Stash, Brittny Goon, Christopher Johnson, Justine Klein and Steve Schur in On The Town (Zach Dalin Photography)

Cast standouts include Goon who has an amazing powerful voice and Hershman is hysterical as the drunken Madame Dilly. Mention must be made of Cappuccitti who oozes charm and innocence as “Miss Turnstyle of the Month.”

Music Director/Conductor Aaron Kaplan leads a dazzling 22-piece orchestra that has never sounded better.  Also, kudos to scenic designer Brett Baleskie for his imaginative subways cars used throughout the show and to Rachel Parent for her authentic costume designs that reflect the times.

DETAILS: “On the Town” is at Northbrook Theatre, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook. Running time: Approximately 2.5 hours with intermission. For tickets and other information, call the Northbrook Theatre at (847) 291-2995 or visit Highland Park Players.

Mira Temkin

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

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