From the moment the first singer strides through the audience, walks onstage crooning “And the World Goes ’Round,” from the movie “New York, New York,” and takes her place underneath a spinning globe before being joined by four other cast members, all in coordinated jewel-tone dresses and natty suits with ties, you think, “Well, this is going to be a ‘Glee’-ful.”
Little would change your mind during the first 20 or so minutes of “The World Goes ’Round,” a revue featuring the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb. Presented at the Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs, the show runs a brisk two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.
The first few love songs and torch numbers may not be as familiar to audience members as Kander and Ebb’s mega-hits, from Broadway shows such as “Chicago,” “Cabaret” and “Woman of the Year,” or their work for stars such as Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera and Barbra Streisand (“Funny Lady”). And that means a slow warm-up for the show, which is blessed with clarion-voiced singers and a three-piece band that sounds fuller and brighter than it ought to. Luke warmers such as “Flora, the Red Menace,” “The Happy Time,” “The Rink” and “The Act” just don’t resonate or satisfy (the musical was written before "Curtains" and "The Scottsboro Boys").
Nor do they do much to shake the show-choir feel of “The World Goes ‘Round.” That is, until the five vocalists start vamping it up in “All That Jazz.” The first spark of pizazz comes when the vocalists stretch out the lyrics singing sweetly, “I hear that Father Dipp is gonna blowwwww the blues and alllll that jazz.” The room warms, and things start to take off with more-familiar fare. They may not be able to pull off Bob Fosse’s stylized moves (no, no they don’t), but they do know how to let these songs — really mini scenes — nimbly unfold.
It makes for a pleasant-enough evening with a little wow factor: the dazzling “Ring Them Bells”; a Manhattan Transfer-esque version of “Cabaret”; and a saucy, multilingual “New York, New York.” These are all personality-plus moments in which you say, “There! There it is. Right there. More of that please.”
“The World Goes ’Round” runs through Jan. 20 at Stage Door Theatre, 8036 W. Sample Road, in Coral Springs. Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays. Matinees are 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $38. Call 954-344-7765 or go to StageDoorTheatre.com.