The World Goes Round is a celebration of the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. It was first staged off-Broadway in 1991 and won lots of awards. I am surprised it has taken so long to cross the Atlantic.
Kander writes the music. Ebb writes the lyrics. They were highly successful. Two of their shows – Cabaret and Chicago -are amongst the greatest Broadway musicals of the 20th century. I also much enjoyed productions of Flora, The Red Menace at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond in 1995 and Steel Pier at the Union Theatre in 2012. The Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic last year, was a major event and one of the very best musicals of 2013.
The nice thing about the present show is that it is full of melodious and witty songs from their less well-known and forgotten catalogue, such as: Coffee in a Cardboard Cup from 70, Girls, 70; I Don‘t Remember You from The Happy Time; Arthur in the Afternoon from The Act; and How Lucky Can You Get from Funny Lady.
There is a cast of five mature singers and a lively chorus of five young dancers. Emma Francis and Elliot Berry stand out.
Sam Spencer Lane’s angular choreography pays tribute to the distinctive style of Bob Fosse who choreographed so many of Kander and Eb’s shows so brilliantly.
The World Goes Round, directed by Kirk Jameson, is a likeable revue and certainly deserves full houses.
by Robert Tanitch, Mature Times theatre reviewer