One of the interesting institutions that add to the cultural vitality of New York is the York Theatre Company, which in addition to presenting a series of new shows--"Fermat's last Tango" was one of them--has a program each year that concentrates on doing bare-bones concert productions of musicals that bear a second look. The shows are offered in a "Musicals in Mufti" series. The most recent: "Celebration," "Baker Street" and "Carmen Jones," the latter January 26-28, 2001. I caught "Baker Street," and came away thinking that the show, originally staged on Broadway in 1965 by Harold Prince, should work very well if it could be brought back in a full-scale production. And I wouldn't want anyone other than Simon Jones as Sherlock Holmes, whom he played with entertaining charm and just the right tone of sleuthing sophistication. Tom Toner would also make an excellent Dr. Watson in a Broadway reincarnation, based on what he did at the York.

There can be stories behind the efforts to provide such pleasures for the York audience. Dee Hoty was playing Irene Adler, the female lead, but had to drop out without finishing the run because of a throat problem. Into the breach stepped Barbara Walsh, and after a morning rehearsal did a matinee and the evening performance that I saw. She is a thoroughly delightful actress and singer, with wide experience, and she'd be a credit, too, to any Broadway production. Will someone revive "Baker Street"? For more information on the York Theatre's future schedule (the York has been in existence for 30 years) and its presentations at The Theater at Saint Peter's, Citigroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street), phone 212-832-0037.

Return to Previous Page