This 1965 musical, originally created to lampoon Cold War paranoia about Communism, might well have been long forgotten except for the fact that it united composer John Kander & lyricist Fred Ebb for the first time before they went on to write such shows as “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” among others, and the fact that a teenaged Liza Minnelli made her Broadway debut as Flora, winning a Tony for a remarkable performance. Since 1987, the show has had a revised book making the drama more compact and comprehensible, but the characters and situations still often fall short on credibility. Nonetheless, when you have a singer and actress who can bring the lead character to life with the perfect balance of comedy, pathos and sing-her-heart out pipes like Elizabeth Lesinski can, a night with “Flora” is certainly a memorable one. (Lesinski’s uncanny similarities to the real-life Fanny Brice makes doing “Funny Girl” an obvious follow-up.) The entire Theo Ubique Theatre cast gives the show plenty of “razzle dazzle,” to quote a later Kander & Ebb line, and they present the flawed material as if their lives depended on it. (Dennis Polkow)
No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood, (773)743-3355. $20-$35. Through July. This production is now closed.