Cissy and Harry and Katie and Johnny

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

You work, I'll drink: Johnny shares his dreams with Katie
You work, I'll drink: Johnny shares his dreams with Katie


Written by Betty Smith and George Abbott (based on the novel by Smith). Music by Arthur Schwartz. Lyrics by Dorothy Fields. Directed by Bob Bogdanoff. Choreographed by Joseph Guglielmo. Starring Irene Adjan, Barry Tarallo, Elizabeth Dimon, Kevin Barnard, Terry M. Cain, Daniel Franzese, Stephanie McNeil, Kevin Novreske, Heather Paige Reicher, Louis Cutolo, and Vicki White. Through September 12.
Royal Palm Festival Dinner Theatre, 303 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton, 561-392-3755 or 800-841-6765.

Joseph Guglielmo's choreography ranges from workmanlike, in his movement of large numbers of people around the stage with no particular flair, to ambitious and winning, as when he has Harry run and kick up his heels, a feat that Franzese, who is of considerable girth, accomplishes as the audience gasps. A scene dubbed "Halloween Interlude" features a dream sequence in which Johnny is approached by real and imagined demons, who move toward him in an antiquated '50s-style jazz ballet. This dates the play more than it does the choreographer. Also musty are Paul Favini's costumes, many of them gingham dresses aching for a neighborhood revival of Oklahoma! As for the many ill-fitting wigs -- well, only the deluded Cissy could think they have refinement.

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