The production is uniformly well sung and acted, and that excuses a lot of the tomfoolery. Anderson Davis is a callow and suitably obtuse Frederic. Farah Alvin's Mabel, who first appears with a huge birdcatching net and wearing a birdcage on her back, is an oddly knowing and proto-feminist Mabel; when she looks at Frederic's pirate contract and deduces at once that he's still apprenticed, he exclaims, "You understand so quickly? It took me a whole song!" Huffman's Ruth is a nasally alluring mix of naive and naughty; defending her unchastity to Frederic, she argues, "The undisputed fact is/Things improve with practice." Ed Dixon is a model Major-General Stanley, not only in his patter song but in his mastery of the muted wink-wink. And Steve Kazee's Pirate King, too ballsy at the beginning, improves to marry hearty with hapless, as when at the end of "Cat-Like Tread!" he yells at his out-of-control crew, "No big finish!" They ignore him — you'll be glad they did.
, John Cage, Cady Huffman, Gordon Greenberg Nell Benjamin, More