Laughter abounds at the Lyric Stage where a bevy of Boston’s finest actors provide an inside look at the frenetic pre- and post-show activities of opening night in an engaging production of the classic Moss Hart comedy “Light Up the Sky”.
Set at a time when opening night was an elegant affair and all Broadway-bound plays previewed at the Colonial Theatre, “Light Up the Sky” takes place at the Ritz-Carlton in the suite of the show’s star and impossible diva Irene Livingston (Paula Plum).
One by one, all of the production’s VIPs arrive for a pre-show toast, but the hostess is still napping after her massage. Hart’s setup works well as a way to figure out who’s who and what their place in the story is.
As flamboyant director Carleton Fitzgerald, Will McGarrahan sets the tone for opening night excitement with a strong rendition of “Another Open’n’ Another Show.” Soon after you meet the rookie playwright, a high rolling producer, his slightly off-kilter wife and a host of other oddballs who capture the rollercoaster ride of life in the theater.
Though no one knows for sure what makes a hit, it’s clear that even the loftiest among them knows that it’s money driving the business of show business. Faced with the possibility of a huge bomb, their claws come out and the snappy repartee gets even funnier.
The pleasure of watching this production comes from its overall feel. Director Scott Edmiston has assembled an ensemble that makes it look easy. Perhaps it’s because of their shared love of theater, or maybe it’s their decades of comedy on Boston stages. Either way, when you’ve got people like Bobbie Steinbach and Kathy St. George delivering flawless performances, and the entire cast closes the show with a rousing “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” you know they’re having at least as much fun as the audience.
If you go
“Light Up the Sky”
Through June 13
140 Clarendon St., Boston
$25 - $63