Fueled by the commercial success of Broadway revivals, the Bristol Riverside Theatre, in association with producers Neil Berg and Adam Friedson, are bringing back the 1990 award-winning musical Closer Than Ever. Currently in residence at Queens Theatre in the Park in Flushing, NY, the musical is slated to finish off at the Bristol Riverside Theatre in Bristol, PA, next month
A vibrant musical done in the style of a 1960s revue, Closer Than Ever features original cast members Sally Mayes and Lynne Wintersteller, and newcomers George Dvorsky and Sal Viviano. Wintersteller won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in an Off-Broadway Musical in 1990 for her performance, and director Richard Maltby Jr. and songwriter David Shire also garnered awards. Those credentials alone hep make this benign and light-hearted production so rewarding. In less capable hands, Closer Than Ever would certainly fall apart. Guided by the deft talents of Maltby Jr., original musical director Patrick Brady and Mayes and Wintersteller, this engaging and warm-hearted musical shines from start to finish.
Though there is little in the way of plot, instead focusing on the songs themselves to unravel the narratives, Closer Than Ever has a zest and kick that’s both infectious and inviting. The real standouts are Wintersteller and seasoned veteran George Dvorsky, who bring both professionalism and depth to shallow and rather facile roles. While the plot is loosely focused on the themes of marriage, parenthood and dating, it’s the songs themselves that do all the talking. Equal parts humorous, thought-provoking and skillfully performed, Closer Than Ever is proof that certain things most definitely get better with age.
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