Note the names Mel Marvin, Larry Hochman, Paul J. Ascenzo, and Joseph Church. These are the arrangers of the great songs in the revue The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm. On the evidence of what is perpetrated here, they should stick to arranging flowers in a second-rate funeral parlor. Current pop music, toward which the show is slanted, has its own rights, but hands off what was perfection as is.
Marvin is an old hand and has done good work in the past; Mark Lamos, even more so. The two are co-conceivers of this abomination, and Lamos, alas, has also directed it. Contempt would need very sharp eyes indeed to espy a work so far beneath its feet. The performers range from foul to forgettable, the choreography is derivative, the décor cut-rate, the costumes spaghetti with ice cream. Peggy Eisenhauer’s lighting labors valiantly to thread things together, but hose with more darning than stocking aren’t worth a damn.