The York Theatre Company presents a musical biography of legendary movie tough guy and dance man James Cagney.
From the producers: "Cagney" is the dramatic new musical that follows the life of the legendary James Cagney from the streets of New York to his rise as one of the brightest stars of Hollywood, from a vaudeville song-and-dance man to the cinema's original tough guy. Broadway's Robert Creighton, in the role he was born to play, leads a cast of six who tap dance through a score that blends original music with classic George M. Cohan favorites, including "Give My Regards To Broadway," "Grand Old Flag," and "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
The original production of "Cagney" opened at the York Theatre Company in 2015, for a limited run that sold out and was extended to five weeks. Bill Castellino ("Storyville," "Jolson") directs.
The six-member cast stars Broadway veteran and hoofer Robert Creighton ("The Mystery of Edwin Drood," "Anything Goes," "The Lion King") as Cagney, with Jeremy Benton, Danette Holden, Bruce Sabath, Josh Walden and Ellen Zolezzi.
Whle the show itself is entertaining in an uninspired way, Creighton as Cagney is stupendous. The original songs cannot possibly compete with the Cohan numbers but a few evoke sufficient charm and wit. The supporting cast forms a fine ensemble. The book is fairly standard issue.
Slapdash, often egregiously under-researched...[Cagney is] played with admirable energy if not always palpable excitement by Robert Creighton. Smartly employed ace choreographer Bergasse [pads] out the show with (admittedly appealing) tap numbers. But the book is creakier than the plots of some of Cagney's lesser movies.