“Enter Laughing” is the funny musical based on a semi- autobiographical life of Carl Reiner. Based on a star struck boy from the Bronx named David Kolowitz(Chris Dwan), the story takes him on his journey as a young, girl crazy high school boy. Much to the chagrin of his mother, he wants to, and dreams of being a big Hollywood star. In the tight, well choreographed opening song, “David Kolowitz, the actor”, we see David’s young, innocent wishes to be a star.
The year is 1938 and David has a job after school. He attends James Madison High. Working for Mr. Forman, a religious Jew, he balances his best friend, his job, his controlling mother and his girlfriend, Wanda (Allie Trimm). Stuck in a delivery job, not wanting to be a druggist, he takes a class at Mr. Marlowe’s acting school. Compared to the competition, David is a handsome standout by attrition, and Marlowe’s daughter has a crush on him.
Not knowing ques from first base, David tries his hardest to learn how to act. Marlowe thinks this boy has no clue of what acting is, his daughter, Angela (Farah Alvin), talks her father into believing that he will get his part down and will be good in the upcoming play. Director Stuart Ross gives the audience that little nervous tension at all times in the show. In great comedy, the audience needs that tension as to keep us on the tread mill going very fast and also to have that edgy feeling that all may go array at any moment. Ross does a fantastic job in keeping the comedic roller coaster going.
Costume Designer Tyler M. Holland does a fantastic job in “Enter Laughing”. The York Theatre company pulled out all the stops with this production and the costumes were no exception. Capturing the era and the little incidentals, Holland was deft with the costuming. A huge part of comedy is the slapstick outfits in many cases and this evening was chock full of them.
While the lighting was fine, nothing really worth noting, the direction and choreography was exceptional. From the comedic timing, to the up beat dance, “Enter Laughing” will go down as one of, if not the best off Broadway musicals this season. Songs like: “It’s Like”, “With My Eyes”, “The Man I can Love”, “Boy, Oh Boy”, “Being With You”, Hot Cha Cha” and the audience favorite; “The Butler’s Song”, were all sensational and well acted and performed.
While all the actors were very talented, two of the standouts were Marlowe (David Schramm) and Chris Dwan who played David. As Marlowe, Schramm was exceptional. He was funny, great singing and as the acting teacher he hit it out of the park! Chris Dwan as David Kolowitz was up tempo at all times, playing the awkward kid going threw the age of High School, Dwan commanded the stage. Allie Trimm was a standout in her singing. Her range, and the sound she put forth last evening at The York was outstanding.
“Enter Laughing” has everything you want in a musical comedy. The laughs keep coming as does the great songs accompanied by fantastic singing and dancing. From the actors to Direction of Stuart Ross and on to the Choreography by Jennifer Paulson-Lee , the show is a hit. On stage musicians also give this show a warm feeling throughout the performance. Talented musicians that help bang out this winner.
York theatre company