I have given my opinion of the work of William Finn several times in the past and last night's performance of his The Royal Family of Broadway at Barrington Stage did nothing to change it.
It is a loud, over-blown production based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber based on the Barrymore family of actors. Any resemblance is purely accidental.
Harriet Harris played the grandmother, who is infirm but not ready to retire from show business. She had what was the best number of the show and brought it off very well.
Laura Michelle played her daughter Julie and Hayley Podschun was Gwen her grandaughter. Both belted out high notes that were hard on the ears. This is apparently the way actresses sing on Broadway, or at least in Pittsfield these days.
Will Swenson played Tony, the son, who was supposedly a copy of John Barrymore. He had a good voice with the occasional roar.
In a word, it was a tough evening for a voice teacher. A woman sitting next to me asked 'Why do they scream?'