REVIEWS: Stop! Look! Listen!

Stop! Look! Listen!
Hi! Drama November 8, 2002
Reviewed by Eva Heinemann

What early 20th Century musical Berlin’s Stop! Look! Listen! has in common with mid 20th century Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song and 21st century Debbie Does Dallas is that they all have everybody end up either where they want to be or who they want to be with.

Stop! Look! Listen! has to be the most contrived musical I’ve ever seen. Old Sugar Daddy bankrolls leading actress real tootsie roll with her gummi bear of a Mom about town under the objections of his young son who also cottons to the young eye candy. Meanwhile there’s a sweet young thing trying to break out of the chorus with the help of a press agent. Before you start snickering, everybody including the producer, lyricist, and composer end up in Hawaii.

You’ve got to love a musical that has songs like "I Love a Piano," "I Love to Sit By the Fire," "I Love to Dance," "I Love to Quarrel With You," and "Teach Me to Love."

I’m sorry. Too much Halloween candy. But it doesn’t mean to trick you, This was a real treat.

Stop! Look! Listen! In Concert
Back Stage November 22, 2002
Reviewed by Victor Gluck

Harry B. Smith’s book for the 1915 Stop! Look! Listen! was an excuse for humor, songs and dances performed by beautiful showgirls posing in glamorous costumes. The backstage story travels from Broadway to Honolulu in a chase after a musical comedy star. The revival by Musicals Tonight proved that it also had vibrant tuneful, syncopated score by Irving Berlin.

Although rarely if ever revived, Stop! Look! Listen! has several famous, top-drawer Berlin songs such as "I Love a Piano" and "The Girl on the Magazine Cover" besides many unfamiliar melodic numbers. Thomas Mills’ production was animated and amusing; his all too short choreography was clever and period-appropriate. Mel Miller’s adaptation of the original book included old-fashioned jokes that still triggered laughter and references to such fondly remembered celebrities as Charlie Chaplin and Vernon and Irene Castle.

As a Broadway producer, Andrew Gitzy’s ingenious grin punctuated the witty "And Father Wanted Me To Learn a Trade" and the risqué "Take Off a Little Bit." Shana Mahoney’s blonde, brassy star who walks out on him to marry an elderly millionaire made lovely music with handsome, romantic leading man Edward Watts (the millionaire’s playboy son) in the ballads "Teach Me To Love" and "I Love To Dance."

As the press agent who promises to make a star of Jennifer Miller’s Gaby DeLys, Ethan James Duff had fun with "Blow Your Horn," "That Hula Hula" and "When I’m Out With You" in tandem with Miller. Miller proved her versatility in an incredible specialty number called "Ragtime Melodrama" in which she played all the characters while changing props and costumes at the same time. Alex Wipf as the aging millionaire and Jacqueline Reilly as the star’s stage mother had several games of one-upmanship in the delightful numbers "I Love a Piano" and "I Love To Quarrel With You."

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