Babes in Arms
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Judy Potter

Willows Theatre in Concord has assembled some of the finest young talent in the Bay Area in their production of the American classic, Babes in Arms. The musical, written by Rodgers and Hart opened on Broadway on April 14, 1937. But many of the songs from that musical, including My Funny Valentine, Where or When, Johnny One-Note and The Lady is a Tramp, are as popular today as they were 65 years ago. The partnership of Rodgers and Hart lasted over 20 years until the untimely death of Hart and produced 28 shows, eight movies and over 550 songs. This year marks many centennial celebrations in honor of Richard Rodgers, ranging from a PBS documentary, new Broadway productions of Oklahoma and The Boys from Syracuse and the Willows Theatre production of Babes in Arms directed by Andrew Holtz.

Though the story has the light-hearted, comic air of musicals from that era, Rodgers and Hart were very conscious of prejudices and used their musicals to send a creative message to the world that prejudice of any kind was a decreative act that restricts the natural flow of life. So when a group of young people decides to put on a show in a small Long Island town, they fight the show’s backer when he wants to restrict the players to whites only.

This is one of those feel good musicals where everything works out for the best and you go home from the theatre singing. The high-energy cast has great voices and some very innovative dance moves.

For tickets or more information call (925) 798-1300 or visit www.willowstheatre.org.

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