Pacific Overtures

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The original 1976 Broadway production of this Sondheim-Weidman show got mixed reviews, as did most of the several revivals, some employing techniques of Kabuki theatre. The current revival at the Classic Stage Company is performed in-the-round with an energetic cast of ten mainly Asian American actors and a terrific pit band supervised by Rob Berman of “Encores” fame. This small-scale production works. The only name in the cast is the talented Ann Harada, who originated the role of Christmas Eve in “Avenue Q,” but everyone comes through in telling the story of Admiral Perry opening up Japan to the West. It’s not anyone’s favorite Sondheim, but it is a classic, with memorable numbers like “Pretty Lady” and “Please Hello.”

Ken Roman

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