Written by Serena
Honeymoon in Vegas feels like a throwback to old school Broadway with some modern touches. Led by a stellar cast, the show takes you on an exuberant, toe-tappingly hilarious, ride.
The plot is centered around a guy named Jack (Rob McClure) with a fear of commitment due to a “curse” his mother gave him on her deathbed. He decides to bite the bullet anyways and elope in Vegas with Betsy, his longtime girlfriend. Incidentally Betsy is a doppelgänger for Tommy Korman’s (Tony Danza) dead wife. Tommy, as a notorious man of questionable character, concocts a plan to rig a poker game against Jack, forcing Jack to loan Betsy to him for the weekend or face the consequences of a $58,000 debt. Misunderstandings and zany hijinks ensue. The plot is as ridiculous and unbelievable yet thoroughly enjoyable as only a Broadway show can be!
Leading man Rob McClure is endearing in his role as an ordinary guy with a mother complex. Some of the funniest moments in the show are when his dead mother (Nancy Opel) pops up unexpectedly to remind him of his promise to never get married. Rob muddles his way through some crazy scenarios (that can only happen on Broadway) and manages to pull it off with effusive charm.
Brynn O’Malley matches Rob in charm and adorableness. Her character Betsy is vivacious, sweet and peppy, yet extremely naive. Brynn has a beautiful voice, showcased in such great songs as “Anywhere But Here” and “You Made the Wait Worthwhile.” And just in case you didn’t get enough of Brynn on stage (which is completely understandable) she is currently vlogging Wedding Crasher: Backstage at Honeymoon in Vegas for broadway.com.
Rounding out the trio is Tony Danza. He portrays the most likable villain you will find on Broadway – you almost want to believe he is the good guy! He sings a fantastic song about skin cancer; melancholy, yet not preachy because Mr. Danza pulls off the humor so well. The audience even gets treated to a tap solo!
There were a few moments in the first half of the show that seemed to drag out, but since it is still in previews I am sure they will address those issues and work out the kinks. The second half really picked up the pace though and was non-stop entertainment. (Update: After seeing the show a second time, I have to say that it’s improved immensely. I can’t pinpoint what changed exactly, but there is never a dull moment and everything flows really well.)
A major highlight was the music by Jason Robert Brown. The show opens with the orchestra front and center, playing lively music. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are funny, and there are some beautiful ballads and duets in the mix as well.
The scenery is vibrant and clever. Most of the backdrops appear on a screen and the set pieces seem to bleed into it. My favorite was the backdrop for the house in Hawaii which almost looked 3D. The orchestra sits on 3 platforms that move forward and back behind the scenery at different points of the show (super cool). There is also a trap door near the front of the stage that they used to great comedic effect throughout the show.
If you are looking for a fun night out, Honeymoon in Vegas is worth your time. It delivers some real laugh out loud moments and a great soundtrack with lively, colorful, musical numbers.
Some notes about the Nederlander theatre:
- Some rows have more leg room than others, but no elbow space due to the narrow seats.
- Great views from the mezzanine
- Women’s bathroom on the second floor has plenty of stalls so the line moves quickly.
- The concession has a large selection of snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- They do not allow any outside food in the theater and will make you throw stuff out before you come in
- Formerly a home to Newsies, the Nederlander stage has undergone a complete transformation