THEATRE LOVER MOM: UNDER MY SKIN: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman
UNDER MY SKIN, written by Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser—the creative forces behind such television hits as The Nanny and Who’s The Boss?—began previews April 5th at The Little Shubert Theatre, with an official opening of May 15th.
In UNDER MY SKIN, New York rich bachelor (Harrison Badish III) and single, working mother (Melody Dent) experience each other’s lives and see things from a very different perspective….thanks to an elevator malfunction that leads to a bodily mix-up.
The talented cast includes Kerry Butler (Broadway: Xanadu (Tony nom.), Les Miserables, Hairspray, Rock of Ages, Beauty and the Beast) as Dent, Matt Walton (Film: Burn After Reading; TV: One Life to Live; Off-Broadway: Hair) as Badish and Megan Sikora (Broadway: Gentleman Prefer Blondes, How to Succeed in Business, Promises, Promises) as Nanette , Edward James Hyland (Broadway: Machinal, Arcadia, Festen, The Man Who Had All The Luck) as Poppa Sam; Dierdre Friel (Broadway: Leap of Faith) as the Angel; Allison Strong (Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie, Mamma Mia!) as Casey Dent; and Kate Loprest (Broadway: First Date, Hairspray, Wonderland, Xanadu, Drowsy Chaperone; TV: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire); and Andrew Polk (Off-Broadway: Mouth to Mouth) in multiple roles.
I know Butler best from musical theatre, and while she didn’t get to flex her pipes here, she has wide-eyed appeal and good comic timing. She might have been aided by more interesting man’s attire, or even some scruffy facial hair. Walton, who gives a strong performance, dressed as a woman, had the advantage in terms of costume sight gags (barring the bedroom scene for Butler and Loprest– won’t give away the details).
Sikora would have been well served to tone down her over the top sex-crazed performance. In more quiet moments, she was more engaging.
Friel as the brassy Angel totally delivered and almost could have stolen the show, especially when she wandered into the audience.
The show’s premise is fun, with a fairly predictable ending, though with a meaningful message …… boy gets girl and comes to better understand the plight of those under-insured.
Overall, it’s entertaining, and if only the heads of real life health insurance companies would get the takeaway, the show would deliver in more ways than one.
The UNDER MY SKIN creative team includes director Kirsten Sanderson, scenic designer Stephen Dobay, costume designer Lara de Bruijn, lighting designer Driscoll Otto, and sound designer Janie Bullard.