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Critic's Choice: ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ charms Marriott audience

Marriott Theatre’s opening-night audience found themselves regaled by the regional premiere of the new “Honeymoon in Vegas.”

“Honeymoon in Vegas,” the musical comedy based on the 1992 film of the same name, benefits from the sure-handed direction of Gary griffin, who also directed the show on Broadway. 

Also bolstering the production are appealing music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, an engaging book by Andrew Bergman and creative choreography by Denis Jones.

Credit Kevin Depinet for the smart set design; Jesse Klug, lighting; Brian Hemesath for costume design and Robert E. Gilmartin for sound design.

A cast of polished actors is led by Michael Mahler as Jack Singer; Sean Allan Krill as Tommy Korrman and Samantha Pauly as Betsy. The cast is studded with performers gifted with strong singers and dancers.

“Honeymoon” has the trappings of a classical musical that successfully mixes with a contemporary spin. It tells the story of Betsy, a patient young woman who questions where her five-year relationship with Jack is headed – or whether it’s permanently stalled because of Jack’s commitment issues. 

The two lovebirds fly to Las Vegas to check the city’s wedding chapels. But Jack still has cold feet, and he can’t help but remember his mother’s entreaty that he never marry.
Enter Korman, a suave, wealthy gambler who takes an instant fancy to Betsy because she reminds him of his late wife. Korman lays the groundwork for an accelerated campaign to win Betsy’s heart; his aggressive campaign includes a weekend trip for two to Hawaii with no strings attached. 

Jack loses big time at a high-stakes poker game arranged by Korman; that leaves Jack without the means to buy airfare to Hawaii. The obstacle is overcome when a group of Elvis impersonators bound for Hawaii finds a spot for the desperate Jack.

“Honeymoon” features such likable songs as “Out of the Sun,” “Cone to an Agreement,” “A Little Luck” and “Anywhere But Here.”

Without question, “Honeymoon in Vegas” comes with a lightweight storyline. In this case, the show’s wacky humor proves the perfect tonic to escape (at least temporally) day-to-day problems.