And The World Goes ‘Round at the Jungle Theater

And The World Goes 'Round company. Photo by Michal Daniel.

And The World Goes ‘Round company. Photo by Michal Daniel.

Miss Latté Da’s exquisite production of Cabaret last year? You can atone, by betaking yourself down to the jewel box Jungle and taking in the sophisticated and entertaining revue of John Kander and Fred Ebb songs, And The World Goes ‘Round (at the Jungle, through May 24). For nonstop energy, grab-you-by-the-collar enthusiasm, and pure unvarnished talent, this show can’t be beat. Put it on the top of your list.

And The World Goes ‘Round is a revue. IOW, there’s no plot (plots confuse and just generally get in the way). No developed characters (though the individual songs are performed by vivid characters, beautifully portrayed by the expert singers). Just muscular tuneage, taken from Kander and Ebb’s two acknowledged masterpieces (Cabaret and Chicago) as well as from their less often produced but still excellent shows (e.g., Zorba, Kiss Of The Spider Woman. (these able tunesmiths also composed film music, notably the eponymously brilliant “New York, New York.”)

IMO, only the intellectually canny and creative Stephen Sondheim surpasses K&E. K&E songs have substance. They combine musical power with a sense of loss and a delirious (an odd word, but appropriate I believe) celebration of what-might-have-been (“A Quiet Thing,” “Maybe This Time,” “I Don’t Remember You.”) See this show and thrill to tours de force like “Cabaret,” “The Cellophane Song,” “Me And My Baby.”

Great stuff. ‘Nuff said.

And The World Goes ‘Round boasts a cast of über-talented singers, led by the ever-astonishing Bradley Greenwald who can transition from resonant basso profundo power to an expressive tenor like that (he said, snapping his fingers). Memorable also is the compact and powerful Therese Walth, she of the blow-your-hair-back belt. Tiffany Seymour combines sweetness and anger very usefully (and she sings like the dickens, too). Golly, everyone is great: Jon Whittier, Emily Rose Skinner, Betti Bottocletti, William Gilness.

Directed with peppery pizzazz by our musical auteur, John Command (who also adds some very credible Fosse-isms to songs like “All That Jazz,” The Money Song”), the cast performs in front of a nifty Bain Boehlke designed NYC skyline, gorgeously lit by Sean Healey.

And speaking of Mr. Boehlke, And The World Goes ‘Round may be his last show at the Jungle; incoming artistic director Sarah Rasmussen arrives July 1 at which point Boehlke departs. I won’t be the first and certainly not the last to say that the multi-talented (he designs, directs, acts) Boehlke has enriched our theatrical environment for decades, and with an intensity impossible to overstate. He will be sorely missed.

I’m a critic, therefore I have to say something critical. Ahem. The music is kinda loud. This bothered me for a song and half and then I forgot about it. I’m probably wrong. BTW, the orchestra thrills, jazzy and focused, providing excellent support, making the singers sound great. Music direction is by Raymond Berg who also brilliantly plays (the program is vague on this point) keyboards.


John Olive is a writer living in Minneapolis. His book, Tell Me A Story In The Dark has just been published by Familius, Inc. More info can be had at

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