The York presents Lerner and Lane's 1979 musical as part of their concert revival reading "Musicals in Mufti" series. More…
In a picturesque Italian village, Carmelina has raised her teenage daughter to believe her father was an American who died heroically in World War II—all the while collecting child support checks from three American soldiers, each of whom thinks he is the girl’s father. Complications arise when all three soldiers show up at the same time for a reunion.
“The cast is superbly cast, with the fathers getting the best numbers. The show is extremely ballad heavy...The York and its company give this show a winning revival in their Mufti series. Musical Director David Hancock Turner makes the score sound lush and Director Michael Leeds, keeps the cast on its toes. Audiences of an older generation will find this show charming, while the younger generation will find this show overtly sweet...Bravo to The York for giving shows another look.” Full Review
"It was my pleasure to see this charming show in a well-staged, sweetly performed and beautifully sung production...I was hooked. Burton Lane was one of the great melodists that ever wrote for the theatre (or film), and his score for 'Carmelina' is no exception...If you’ve never experienced a 'mufti,' then you can do no better than to luxuriate in Burton Lane’s outstanding melodies in 'Carmelina,' sung by a talented eight-person cast." Full Review
"Cipriano's voice and stage presence are such that with the opening note, I turned to see where the sound was coming from and who might be producing such perfect music. From that moment, I was drawn into this fisherman's net...The story line is remarkably similar to that of 'Mama Mia'...For this staged reading limited production, Director Michael Leeds has assembled a stellar cast...Delightful little gem." Full Review
“Leeds directs the York's latest visit to this underappreciated effort, a very enjoyable book-in-hand production featuring a terrific cast...Burns gives a gutsy, dramatically sung performance as the title character...The score features the catchy, Neapolitan-styled ‘It's Time For A Love Song’, a wonderfully-structured story-telling selection, ‘Someone In April’...Certainly, ‘Carmelina’ is a musical that deserves at least one more walk around the garden.” Full Review
"Though not in the same class with Lerner's masterpiece, 'My Fair Lady,' 'Carmelina' has a similar theme: how a young woman reinvents herself. While the three soldiers are under the impression that they invented Carmelina in the classic Pygmalion and Galatea fashion, in fact Carmelina has reinvented herself, also a major theme in the Lerner canon, along with Coco...This charming musical comedy also features a Tony Award-nominated score which deserves a second and a third hearing." Full Review
“This is a warm bath of a musical with some lovely, if unmemorable songs, light, comic moments, and romance; a sweet story full of people who do the right thing, despite initially feeling betrayed. The production is deft, direction engaging, voices excellent all around...Casting is spot on in this production. Everyone looks kind of like we’d imagine. All have talent...Director Michael Leeds approaches the presentation with more attention to detail than many other successful muftis." Full Review
"No justification is needed for an entertainment as charming and tuneful as this...The show had only thirty-six hours of rehearsals; one imagines that, had he had more time, the director, Michael Leeds, would have cleaned up a bit of business...But the laughs are plentiful, the songs fall beautifully on the ear, and a show that once seemed destined for the flop shelf now looks like a highly playable proposition." Full Review
“Staging under the direction of Michael Leeds, with David Hancock Turner as musical director, is quite delightful. Yes, the plot may still be a stretch, but the story abetted by some very good songs offers the opportunity for performances that are amusing and also sometimes touching...The York has come through once again with an impressive cast of eight who bring the tale to life.” Full Review
"40 years later, this pared down production makes a strong argument for revisiting the show. Despite their common roots, 'Carmelina' is tighter than 'Mamma Mia!,' boasting higher stakes and a more focused character plot. The secret weapon is Joseph Stein’s charming book, revised by Barry Harman and director Michael Leeds. A master at painting compelling portraits of ethnic small town life, the happiest surprise of 'Carmelina' is the comedy." Full Review
“Witty, well-crafted, romantic, smart...and gorgeously melodic...Harman's heavily rewritten book plays just fine, and the score, re-conceived and reordered as it is, remains both a model of musical-comedy efficiency...It's a rare look at a late work from musical masters, and, as much as it's been tampered with, a fun story that speaks eloquently of spiraling deception, fragile male egos, and parental responsibility.” Full Review
"'Carmelina's' strength is in its plot...While the music is nice, there aren't any standout songs and the songs are definitely not up to the standards of Lerner's other work or even the standards of his other work with the composer of the show, Burton Lane...This is not to say that the show is not worth seeing, however because it is really a very engaging and amusing show." Full Review
See it if you love Lerner's work; you enjoy very clever comedy with wonderful music by Lane
Don't see it if you are expecting a big splashy musical (though Mamma Mia is that). It's a great mini-musical with wonderful characters.
See it if You love Alan Lerner (and if you don't there is something very wrong with you), you enjoy light, funny, sweet musicals.
Don't see it if You require musicals to have a deep message or dislike staged concerts of musicals .
See it if you want to see a beautifully sung, quite amusing staged reading of a charming piece. Wonderful cast. I had never heard of it but loved it!
Don't see it if you don't like staged readings. The cast holds their scripts and staging is rudamentary. But the cast is so wonderful, you should still go!
See it if you are a fan of Lerner or if you just want to hear two of his rarely performed love songs.
Don't see it if You're expecting My Fair Lady or Camelot. This piece is lovely, but not traffic-stopping like MFL/C.
See it if Delightful and unexpected since it closed in days after opening on Broadway. Hard to believe. Great singing using clever lyrics and acting.
Don't see it if Not for you if you disliked Mama Mia. No nonsense funny but not for the serious.
See it if you like old fashioned musicals revived by very talented folks.Andrea Burns is a delight.
Don't see it if you are looking for something edgy.This is just pure old fashioned fun. Terrific score, great performances.
See it if you enjoy a charming/funny/delightful musical on a small scale. Joey does indeed steal the show as Vittorio. It's just what is needed now.
Don't see it if you need a lavish set/costumes. Silly you, they are not needed.
See it if you like musicals. Despite the spare set and no costumes, this show is very engaging. Great talent and cleaver lyrics carry the show.
Don't see it if you don't like heart warming shows. The plot kind of peters out with a hokey resolution. But that does not matter too much.
See it if You like to see shows that were shunned originally get remastered to shine, even if for only a short time
Don't see it if You like flash and dazzle, that's not what Mufti is about
See it if you are open to the mufti style and want to see a solid production of a rarely-done show.
Don't see it if you dislike shows that have a very pat ending or if you prefer a big fancy showbiz-type musical.
See it if you haven't seen any other muftis at the York so aren't expecting something up to their usual caliber
Don't see it if you were expecting a more polished mufti experienced, better singing from the male lead, better score/script, etc.
See it if Broadway history of Lerner or Lane or what-went-wrong’s is part of your passion.
Don't see it if You want more than a light-hearted sketch of a story.
See it if You're a musical theater completist -- i.e., you want to see flop or forgotten shows by greats like Alan Jay Lerner.
Don't see it if You have no tolerance for shows that are not thoroughly well-structured and well-acted. This one has flaws!
See it if If you like musicals, you'll love Carmelina! This production is perfect in every way. We haven't laughed this much in ages! Beautiful music
Don't see it if The only reason someone wouldn't like this show is if they don't like musicals!
See it if you enjoy musicals that also make you laugh. Joey Sorge is the perfect Italian lover, and Andrea Burns is excellent as his love interest.
Don't see it if you would not like a comic musical version of "Buena Sera, Mrs. Campbell," the movie, or if a love story isn't your thing.
See it if you want to spend two hours listening to the music of Lerner and Lane in an all but forgotten delightful gem of a musical.
Don't see it if you want a more lavish production (the Mufti productions are more of a concert - minimal props, costumes and scenery.)
See it if It's Lerner & Lane's music/lyrics that provide the modest joys of the piece which is a precursor to Mamma Mia. Sorge's Vittorio steals show
Don't see it if Mufti series is bare-boned, dated & often just tired but also a needed archival resource & theatre touchstone Carmelina more banal than bad
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