The Wall Street Journal – Reviving a Breakthrough Show

by Will Friedwald

Tommy Tune Stars in Revival of Gershwins’ ‘Lady, Be Good!’

In 1924, this hit musical was a major breakthrough for two teams of siblings, Fred and Adele Astaire, who starred, and George and Ira Gershwin, who herewith collaborated on a full-length show for the first time. It also was a giant leap forward for the cause of jazz on Broadway, bringing the latest in snappy syncopation to the Great White Way. The show introduced two major jazz standards, the title and “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” as well as many favorite songs among jazz and cabaret singers. Other than “Porgy and Bess,” few actual Gershwin shows have ever been revived in their original form (although there’s no shortage of pastiche productions). The chance to experience this pivotal work as audiences saw it 90 years ago is not to be missed, especially with song-and-dance star Tommy Tune and the amazingly thorough Rob Fisher conducting.