Come Fly Away

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For the Frank Sinatra album, see Come Fly Away (album).
Come Fly Away
Come Fly Away.jpg
Broadway Playbill
Music Various
Lyrics Various
Book Twyla Tharp
Productions 2010 Broadway
2011 US Tour

Come Fly Away is a dance revue conceived, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, around the songs of Frank Sinatra. The musical, set in a New York City nightclub, follows four couples as they look for love.

It premiered on Broadway in March 2010 after tryouts in Atlanta and has received mostly warm reviews.[1]

Production[edit]

Come Fly Away, originally titled Come Fly with Me, ran at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, in September 2009.[2] It started Broadway previews at the Marquis Theatre on March 1, 2010, and opened on March 25. The cast included Keith Roberts, John Selya, Ashley Tuttle, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Holley Farmer, Laura Mead, Rika Okamoto and Karine Plantadit.[3] The set design is by James Youmans, costumes by Katherine Roth, lighting by Donald Holder and sound by Peter McBoyle.

The songs are danced to the voice of Frank Sinatra, backed by 18 live instrumentalists arranged and produced by Dave Pierce, with additional vocals by Hilary Gardner or Rosena Hill (alternately).[4]

The musical closed on September 5, 2010. The show had struggled at the Box Office since March 25 (Opening Night) but for the week ending July 25 it grossed $574,465 and played to 48.97% of capacity. [5]

After the Broadway production, Twyla Tharp's Come Fly Away re-opened in Las Vegas at the Wynn Las Vegas resort under the new name SINATRA Dance With Me. Only a few changes were made from Broadway to Las Vegas. The show opened on December 11, 2010 as a limited engagement till April 23, 2011. The show was extended another week because of high demand and ran through April 30, 2011

2011 U.S. National Tour[edit]

Troika Entertainment presents the US National Tour of Come Fly Away, which started in August 2011 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.[6] The tour reunites several cast members from the Broadway and Las Vegas productions, including John Selya, Matthew Stockwell Dibble, Cody Green, Laurie Kanyok, Marielys Molina and Ron Todorowski. The cast also includes Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Martin Harvey, Ramona Kelley, Christopher Vo, Anthony Burrell, Mallauri Esquibel, Marina Lazzaretto, Meredith Miles, Marceea Moreno, Candy Olsen, Julius Anthony Rubio, Amy Ruggiero, Justin Urso, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Michael Williams. Cities include: Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Hartford, Cleveland, and Toronto.

Concept and background[edit]

Tharp has been choreographing Sinatra songs since the 1970s, including Nine Sinatra Songs, in 1982, and Sinatra Suite, in 1984, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov. The new piece includes some of her earlier choreography.[4]

Come Fly Away, set in a New York City nightclub, follows the relationships of four dancing couples as they seek love and romance. "The pas de deux as a flirtatious battle of wills is a recurring theme in 'Come Fly Away,' which is structured as a series of romantic encounters in a club vaguely redolent of the 1940s."[7] Kate and Hank resolve their ambiguous, tempestuous relationship by becoming "just friends". Marty and Betsy are innocent and shy. Slim and Chanos have a one-night affair, and Babe and Sid circle each other as they each seek to be the center of attention.[4]

Tharp put a full band on stage and a singer, Hilary Gardner, who did duets with Sinatra recordings. Gardner says it was a thrill to work “with” one of the singers who influenced her when she was young and has described the experience of doing the show in detail.

Songs[edit]

Response[edit]

Reviews were mostly positive. In The New York Times, Charles Isherwood opined: "A sleek, energizing mixture of Sinatra's inimitable cool and Ms. Tharp's kinetic heat, "Come Fly Away" sweeps you up in a spell so complete that only those resistant to the seductions of dance or the swing of Sinatra will be left on the other side of the velvet rope."[7] The USA Today reviewer was even more enthusiastic: "It's hard to imagine a Broadway show delivering a more dazzling combination of talent ... this homage features the spine-tingling arrangements of Sinatra's best-loved recordings, zestfully revived by an expert live band. Tharp's dancers, too – playing couples who grapple with that tender trap called love – mix technical prowess with a visceral punch that can be as playful as it is poignant."[8] The Village Voice raved: "And what performers!" [1]

However, New York Times dance writer Alastair Macaulay disagreed with his colleague Isherwood. He called the choreograph "less sensational than sensationalistic ... this is intimacy perverted into exhibitionism." He also wrote, "Some of the individual dances in the Tharp show are good or better than that, but the context stops making them look good: they're miscast or they're wasted in this undramatic clubland non-event."[9] The Variety reviewer also found that the "dance revue only intermittently gets off the ground."[10] Natasha Jibladze of the Georgia Post described the production as "Very interesting and moving performance."

The show was nominated for two Tony Awards: Tharp was nominated for Best Choreography, while Karine Plantadit was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Additionally, Tharp won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernardo, Melissa Rose. Tharp & Sinatra: Up Where the Air is Rarified". Playbill.com, March 24, 2010
  2. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Twyla Tharp's 'Come Fly With Me' in Atlanta". Playbill.com, September 30, 2009
  3. ^ Hetrick, Adam. ""Body and Soul": Tharp-Sinatra Musical Come Fly Away Opens on Broadway". Playbill.com, March 25, 2010
  4. ^ a b c Kourlas, Gia. "Tharp Is Back Where the Air Is Rarefied". The New York Times, March 5, 2010, accessed March 26, 2010
  5. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Learnin' the Blues": Tharp's Come Fly Away Will Close on Broadway Sept. 5" playbill.com, July 28, 2010
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam."Twyla Tharp's 'Come Fly Away', Starring John Selya and Cody Green, Begins National Tour Aug. 2" playbill.com, August 2, 2011
  7. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles."Up and Down, Over and Out, That’s Sinatra (and Tharp)".The New York Times, March 26, 2010
  8. ^ Gardner, Elysa. "Broadway's 'Come Fly With Me' Gives Voice to Frank Sinatra". USA Today, March 2009
  9. ^ Macaulay, Alastair. "Come Fly Away: The Nature of the Event". The New York Times, March 29, 2010
  10. ^ Diamond, Robert. "Review Roundup". Broadwayworld.com, March 25, 2010

External links[edit]