Heres the thing about musicals: They cant be all brass and balls. Not every number is going to be as inspiring as the last, and sometimes a show full of stale duds can be saved by one climactic song at the right moment. Back in the old days, theaters would open around 8:30 p.m., and theyd often save their best number you know, the one where the star of the show comes to some great realization while really showcasing his or her pipes until just before the curtain fell at 11. Those 11 oclock numbers, as theyre called, were the rejuvenating pieces that made sure every last punter left happy.
So its fitting that Rising Action Theatre (840 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) chose John Kanes award-winning musical, The 11 OClock Number, as their climactic second production after the opening of their new Fort Lauderdale digs. The play itself is a bit quirky: Bobby Dupree, a huge fan of classic musicals, receives a beat up old Scrabble set for his 45th birthday thats rumored to have belonged to the Great Dame of Broadway herself, Ethel Merman. Mermans been dead since ΄84, of course, but when her copy of Scrabblegets busted out well, lets just say she cant resist a good match. Chances are Merman will be notching another 11 oclock number in her belt, even if its from beyond the grave. The show runs Thursday through Sunday until January 13. Tickets start at $30, and for $55 you get dinner too, courtesy of Primavera Restaurant. Visit www.risingactiontheatre.com, or call 800-595-4849.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 4. Continues through Jan. 13, 2008