Last night Peggy, Jim,David and I saw a delightful production of The Most Happy Fella at the No Exit Cafe in Rogers Park on the far north side of the city. Fella is a wonderful musical by Frank Loesser based on the book They Knew What They Wanted by Sidney Howard. I saw the original production on Broadway in 1953 with Robert Weede of the Met singing the title role.
Tonight's Tony was no Robert Weede but the rest of the cast were fine singers and produced a really good show. William Roberts was Tony and while possessed of a fairly good bass-baritone voice tended to push at the top.
Molly Hernandez was a very young Rosabella. Pretty voice and a good actress. She is a sophomore at Loyola University.
Ken Singleton was Joe and sang with a fine tenor voice and was good looking enough for us to see why Rosabella would fall in love with him at once instead of the middle aged Tony.
Courtney Jones was Cleo and practically stole the show in her opening number about 'sore feet' as well as in 'Big D'. A real winner!
The rest of the cast had remarkable good voices and the mens' ensembles were especially good. 'Standin' on the Corner' and 'Abondanza'.
The Cafe is a fairly small room and the evening included dinner, which was passable. The music director was Jeremy Ramey and was exceptional. He played the piano with fury and tried to keep the three string players together. When we arrived early for dinner he appeared to be teaching the show to the violinist who never did quite play in tune, especially in third position.
It was a fun evening.