Time After Time at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre | Theater review
A new revue breathes narrative life into the songs of Jule Styne.
With the addition of a few subway markers and a new backdrop, Theo Ubique turns the Florentine set of its long-running The Light in the Piazza into Grand Central Station. It’s a smart setting for Time After Time, the new Jule Styne revue that often finds its characters saying good-bye to the past as they embark on a new life journey.
There’s no overarching plot connecting the music, but the narrative quality of Styne’s songs allows each piece to stand as a short scene: a struggling actress prepares to reinvent her act (“Some People”); a homeless person tries to get some sleep (“10,432 Sheep”); a woman kills her abusive husband (“If You Hadn’t But You Did”). The suggestions of stories help add some variety. When the songs are performed straight, the production loses some momentum and begins to feel like a series of solos rather than a cohesive revue.
The five-person ensemble vocalizes beautifully, and music director Aaron Benham’s lush arrangements add new layers to classic songs from Gypsy and Funny Girl. Danielle Brothers, Stephanie Herman and Khaki Pixley not only offer strong character work, their flawless three-part harmony during the Rome-set “Three Coins in the Fountain” reawakens the set’s original Italian environment. Benham’s stunning a cappella arrangement of “People” wipes out memories of Barbra Streisand, standing as one of this season’s richest musical moments.