By Leonard Feigenblatt ~ Fire Island Pines Arts Project (FIPAP) concluded its season over the Labor Day weekend with a production of the 1985 Broadway musical “Jerry’s Girls,” which starred Tony Award winners Dorothy Louden, Chita Rivera and Leslie Uggams.
“Jerry’s Girls” is a revue of the music and lyrics of Jerry Herman, who is very much the star of this production. Each song is a knockout celebration of Broadway theatre. The other star of this performance is Director Joe Barros, who put forth a brilliant show. He kept the action moving fluidly. David L. Arsenault did the scenic design, which was simple yet elegant. It featured a series of open black umbrellas with one open pink umbrella; all the performers followed suit, wearing black with a pink accent.
Among the performers was Nicole LaFontaine, who has starred in six previous FIPAP productions. She sang several songs, including two from “Hello, Dolly!” which she starred in with FIPAP several years ago to great acclaim. Sirius XM radio personality Julie James sang a beautiful version of “If He Walked Into My Life” from “Mame.”
Cabaret star and local YouTube sensation Seth Sikes, also in the production, went outside his comfort zone. Usually singing songs made famous by his idol, Judy Garland, and songs of the 1920s, he sang “I Don’t Want to Know” from “Dear World.” He was stunning. Perhaps Seth should step outside his comfort zone more often, he just might find out that his glorious voice is well suited to many an even more diverse range than he presently offers his fans.
Rose Levine of course was in her element. Herman was a friend of hers and she has a great affinity for the composer’s music and lyrics. Rose sang “Before the Parade Passes By” from “Hello, Dolly!” and was “to the manor born,” receiving a rousing ovation for her fabulous star turn.
The evening was a huge success. Fire Island Pines will be looking forward to FIPAP’s next season.
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