Dave and I saw the opening night Saturday night of Festival Opera’s production of The Most Happy Fella. It’s a show I’ve both loved and been frustrated by since my college days. Its good points are unique and powerful, and yet it has some serious weaknesses as well (mostly in the second act, in my opinion) that I wish Loesser had figured out how to fix. I have no time to write more about it right now, but I wanted to recommend this, a confident and polished production of a show that is not done very often and even less often done well.
I’d be curious to hear more from you about the weakness of the show at some point. I’ve never seen it performed, but I love the score.
I’ll say more when I have some time to sort out my thoughts. I think the second act starts and ends very well, but in between I always come away feel that it’s too long, or at least too weakly structured to sustain that length.
A few cuts have become traditional, and I think Festival’s production takes at least one more cut, and a wise one, that I noticed (unless cutting “Love and Kindness” has become traditional too), and I would have taken at least one more if it were up to me (Cleo’s and Marie’s duet, which is very funny but which could be replaced by a few lines of dialogue to the benefit of the overall pacing of the act).
I’d love to see your informed opinion of the Festival Opera production when you have time.
Accompanied by an orchestra, I hope, rather than the two-piano version….