Gary Cogill reviews "It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's... Superman" at the Wyly

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by GARY COGILL

WFAA

Posted on June 25, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 27 at 11:35 AM

Superman, Lois Lane, and a cast of Broadway veterans can currently be found on stage singing, dancing and flying at the Wyly Theatre in Dallas.

"It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's...Superman" is an odd and mostly uneven re-worked musical currently on stage at the Wyly Theatre and updated since its Broadway failure back in 1966.

What was problematic then, still exists, because the centerpiece is not Superman, it's the villain, a maniacal billionaire named Max Mencken, played by Broadway veteran, Patrick Cassidy.

Cassidy is the son of the late actor, Jack Cassidy, who originated Mencken on Broadway, but Patrick struggled with the notes on this night.

Superman, who flies around with charm and innocence, is well-played by Matt Cavenaugh, but his paring with Lois Lane, played by Broadway veteran, Zakiya Young, seems miscast. Her lines are delivered flat and uninvolved. Musically, the best moments happen when everyone is on stage.

Artistic director, Kevin Moriarty, has a mountain to climb with the two-and-a-half hour "Superman" because it's musically challenged.

The songs are not terribly engaging and the story is slightly schizophrenic - intentionally campy one minute, filled with male-female-angst the next.

The best voice and performance in the cast belongs to Jennifer Powers, as tabloid reporter and blond bombshell, Sydney Sharp. She's terrific, and it makes you wonder what would happen if Superman dropped Lois and flew off with her.

E- mail: gcogill@wfaa.com

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