On paper, at least, I found this an irresistible concept, i.e., making a jukebox show out of those long-forgotten mod British pop gems of the 1960s. And while there are some laughs and some fun in this show very much in the Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In” tradition (complete with go-go dancing used to punctuate one-liners) this show really misses the spirit of the sixties by miles. First, the arrangements, which are keyboard-centered and feature no guitar (nor electric bass), which is played left-handed by a keyboardist. And the keyboards used are not vintage and make no attempt to emulate sounds of the day, like Farfisa organs. Second, the clothes, which are such caricatures and do not even resemble the fashion of the time. Third, where are all of the color organs, man, and the black lights and the incense? And if you’re going to sing songs made famous by the likes of Lulu and Petula Clark, shouldn’t there be some attempt to bring in some pipes that can really nail these songs? Much of the dialogue of the show is a “canned” track of a British advice columnist and this also has a disastrous effect on the timing of the live performances. If you’re going to do a show about a time when there are at least some people in the audience were actually there, best to get consultants from the era itself or at the very least, do your homework. Or perhaps this show is counting on the old stereotype that “If you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there, man.” (Dennis Polkow)
At Drury Lane Theatre, Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut, (312)642-2000. This production is now closed.