Review by June Baird
The Chocolate Show! A Tasty New musical with book and music by Alan Golub & Laura Goldfader, lyrics by Mr. Golub, has an awesome premise – a show celebrating the world’s biggest obsession, Chocolate – – not to mention free chocolate just for showing up! The production values are top notch, particularly the costumes by Orli Nativ, who has beautifully created all of our favorite candy and chocolate as apparel – especially the gown worn by Cookie Conwell (Emily McNamara) with a top piece looking like dripping milk chocolate and a bottom of carefully placed lace looking like the wrapper. Properties Designer, Karin White, also deserves a shout out for creating a myriad of delicious candy-like props and the stage management team led by Jason Weixelman for organizing what would seem to be an unending line of costumes and props.
However, the books & lyrics feel more strewn together like a hodge-podge of jelly bellies – some numbers taste oh-so-good and others make you want to spit out the bad taste in your mouth. The actors each have beautiful voices and shining moments, but all felt stiff and uncomfortable with the material.
For what it’s worth, the children in the audience seemed to enjoy themselves – particularly the opportunity to walk onstage and be considered for the crown of Queen of the Cocoa Bean. But in the end, this chocoholic felt jipped of her sugar rush.
Direction by Dan Foster and choreography by Grady McLeod Bowman.
47th Street Theater, 304 West 47th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, 212.944.9444