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Errol And Fidel – The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, New York

Book: Boyd Anderson & Guy Anderson

Music: Peter Kaldor, John Kaldor & Doug Oberhamer

Lyrics: Boyd Anderson

Choreographer: Justin Boccitto

Director: Michael Bello

Reviewer: Robert Price

¡Qué calor! Sydia Cedeño takes the stage as Mima, the Cuban narrator for the swashbuckling tale of Errol and Fidel. Her storytelling is crystal clear and charming, adding a dash of perceived authenticity to what is otherwise a very American story of Cuba in the late nineteen-fifties. We join a film crew in Cuba setting up shots of leggy women romancing a man old enough to be their father. An aging Errol Flynn addresses us with melancholy solo songs, lamenting his fall from Hollywood’s favor. He hates the script and the director but he needs the money. He meets a mysterious lady who leads him through the jungle to see Castro, an egocentric comic villain. Meanwhile in the United States the CIA is farcically inept despite their “man on the inside.”

Jonathan Stewart captures the look and charm of Errol, but the maudlin reminiscing in the script might work better played for laughs. Claire Saunders plays the dangerous lady Lola, who belts out the technically demanding music well. But even her multidimensional motivations are no match for the wooing of a man twice her age. George Psomas fills the room with Castro’s bravado and hits the humor well. Ryan Bauer-Walsh is the true standout as Agent Goode, singing impossible things while telling his portion of the story with panache. 

The music is great, and the choreography is breathtaking in both style and restraint thanks to Justin Boccitto. The lyrics take risks and serve up some excellent punch lines. The show is a B-movie starring Errol Flynn with song and dance. The climactic fight scene is delightfully cheesy.

Runs until: 16 July 2017

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The American team is under the editorship of Adrienne Sowers. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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