The revue "Jerry's Girls" is supposed to be an ensemble piece celebrating the highly hummable tunes of the Great White Way composer Jerry Herman.
For the most part, the production at Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs is exactly that. The cast of six women sings the songs from the hallowed hits "Hello Dolly," "Mame" and "La Cage aux Folles" extremely well for more than two hours with a 15-minute intermission. They even inject a little verve into shorter-run Broadway shows such as "Mack and Mabel," "Dear World" and "Milk and Honey." So what if it’s a tad cruise-shippy?
And whether they're hoofing a little tap number or grinding out a burlesque routine, these women prove they have the stuff of leading ladies, which is precisely the point of the musical.
But the moment Sarah Smith strides onstage, a diva is born. If her clarion voice — try to imagine what laser beams laced with sugar sound like — doesn’t get you, her expressive phrasing will. In fact, if she had been left alone with two of Herman’s best-known toe-tappers, the show would be almost perfect.
But Act 1 closes with not one but six Dollys, and that is five Dollys too many. When the show throws you a curve by relating that "Hello Dolly" was used as a popular Oscar Mayer TV commercial and a Lyndon Johnson campaign song, well, they have no choice but to gamely try to sell it. But, oh, how you’ll long to see Smith cakewalk across that stage surrounded by her castmates in Harmonia Gardens waiter drag.
Act 2 features a slick version of "Mame," where more than before you really feel the lack of a live orchestra. The recorded instrumental track is, however, well balanced with the live voices.
Aside from that, it's a good show. Jonathan Van Dyke, who pulls double duty as director and choreographer, sets up an effective stage tableau, and costume designer Dan Kelley has sheathed the women in glittery finery...as they belt, belt and belt some more.
The revue got its start with Zev Buffman producing a show starring Carol Channing at Palm Beach's Royal Poinciana Playhouse. Stage Door Theatre has done them proud.
"Jerry’s Girls" runs through March 24 at Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Road, in Coral Springs. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $38. Call 954-344-7765 or go to StageDoorTheatre.com.