One of the things that puzzles me about this Broadway musical adaptation of the 1988 Steve Martin and Michael Caine film that was a shoddy, vulgar and slapstick remake of the hilarious, witty, sophisticated, and—because of the remake—long out-of-print 1963 Marlon Brando and David Niven-starring “Bedtime Story” is why the adapters didn’t stick with adapting the far superior original source material. That said, the musical version is certainly superior to the 1988 film, which most bizarrely miscast its conmen leads as being too similar in age and placed shtick ahead of wit. The musical keeps Freddy as a young stud and Laurence as an elder statesman of schmo, played in this incarnation by D.B. Bonds and Tom Hewitt, respectively, but is far too respectful of the remake script and preserves needless subplots that particularly make the second act an overlong and tedious affair. Still, the music itself reflects the atmosphere and characterizations quite convincingly, using Big Band swing-style music along with spicy, Latinized tangos along with clever lyrics that have a casual irreverence to them. (Dennis Polkow)
At Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, (312) 922-2110 x0. This production is now closed.