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REVIEWS

Noel and Gertie, by Sheridan Morley
A New Noel Coward Fan
Thursday, May 11, 2006
4.0
I have visited theaterreview.com for the past year but have never felt compelled to review a show until now, based upon the lack of reviews for this show.

I really enjoyed this production of Noel & Gertie. Highlights of the show were "Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs. Worthington", "Parisian Pierrot" and "Someday I'll Find You." Karen Whitaker is one of the most talented actors I've seen here in Atlanta and she's a joy to watch on stage. She switches from ridiculously goofy to gorgeous and elegant at the drop of a sailor hat. I was particularly impressed that she managed to capture an old hollywood style of singing for this role as opposed to a more contemporary theater style. I've seen her in other roles and she clearly worked her voice to accommodate the character. Patrick Shambach did a great job with his lispy British accent and monotone talk-like singing. The music was captivating and I was never much of a Noel Coward fan until I saw this production.

The only downside of the show was the set design. It was sparse and while I don't mind a conservative set, it seemed like an afterthought. It was actually surprising given the quality of the music and acting in general. So much care had obviously been given to other aspects of the show's design- it would have been nice to see more effort in that direction.

The story of Noel and Gertie is one of a developing relationship and not a particular event. If you are looking to be entertained by a lot of action and Broadway stunts then this is not the show for you. However, this is a beautiful, poignant story. My applause to the directors, cast and crew.

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