courtesy photoAllison Rich

courtesy photoAllison Rich

42nd Street Moon gives wings to ‘I Married an Angel’

The robust revival by 42nd Street Moon at the Eureka Theatre breathes life into “I Married an Angel.”

One of the less successful musicals by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, “Angel” began as a Hungarian fantasy by János Vaszary in 1933 and was intended as a film featuring Jeannette MacDonald.

The project fell through, but Rodgers and Hart — between the hits “Babes in Arms” and “Pal Joey” — put “Angel” onstage in 1938. After a good run on Broadway it toured, closing in San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in 1940; it has more or less disappeared since, except perhaps for the title song and the memorable “Spring is Here.”

The story is simple and flimsy: an angel descends to marry a banker and creates havoc with her ways, since excessive honesty and banking practices don’t mix well.

Eventually, the marriage and bank are saved when she forsakes her angelic side and opts to be an irresistible bad girl. It goes on to a big production number “At the Roxy Music Hall” and then the curtain.

Yet “Angel” has wings under company artistic director Greg MacKellan’s direction of a large, dedicated cast and accompaniment by Dave Dobrusky on piano and Nick di Scala on woodwinds.

The second act is especially vibrant and fun, with its uproarious visit by four angels to their fallen sister.

And the tacked-on Roxy Music Hall finale, which has nothing to do with the story, is worth the price of admission by itself. Choreographer Zack Thomas Wilde makes wondrous use of the Eureka’s postage-stamp-sized stage.

Kari Yancy makes the best of the demanding title role, while Sean Thompson as Count Palaffi wishes for an angel and salvation from bankruptcy.

Other standouts are the hilarious Allison F. Rich as Peggy Palaffi, who teaches Angel the ways of the world; Halsey Varady as the troublesome American girl; and vocally precise Bill Fahrner as Harry Szigetti, the rich friend who could save the banker … but will he?

MacKellan’s attention to detail is exemplified in the Hungarian characters pronouncing the capital correctly — “Budapesht” — while the American girl says “pest.”

REVIEW

I Married an Angel

Presented by 42nd Street Moon

Where: Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., S.F.

When: 7 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 6 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; closes Nov. 17

Tickets: $25 to $75

Contact: (415) 255-8207, www.42ndStMoon.org42nd Street MoonartsI Married an AngelKari Yancy

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Rendering of proposed ball park at Howard Terminal (Courtesy photo)
MLB instructs A’s to begin exploring other markets while still pursuing downtown ballpark

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that it has instructed the Oakland Athletics… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants short stop Mauricio Dubon (1) breaks his bat on a ground out in the 4th inning against the Miami Marlins at Oracle Park on April 22, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Wood, bench power Giants past Rangers

After a bullpen implosion cost Alex Wood a win in his prior… Continue reading

San Fernando, CA, Thursday, April 29, 2021 - California Governor Gavin Newsom waves goodbye to friends after attending a press conference where he signed legislation that will provide a $6.2 billion tax cut to the hardest hit small businesses in the state at Hanzo Sushi restaurant downtown. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Most Read