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Encores "Can-Can"

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The much-acclaimed Encores series at New York's City Center (where Broadway's "Chicago" and "Wonderful Town" originated) got off to a bang-up 2004 start on Thursday night with Cole Porter's "Can Can." The songs in this 1953 musical include "C'est Magnifique," "It's All Right With Me, "I Love Paris," and more than a dozen others, including the title song.

There were two powerhouse leading ladies -- Patti Lupone, who periodically brought the house down, and Charlotte d'Amboise, who did the part which first brought Gwen Verdon to widespread attention. The leading men were the amusing Reg Rogers and Michael Nouri ("Victor/Victoria," "Forty Carats.") There was a sweet cameo appearance by Eli Wallach as a Parisian judge. The director was Lonny Price, who seems to make a habit of directing Patti Lupone. The terrific choreography was by Melinda Roy (remember her at NYCB?) who was nominated for a Tony in 2003 for the short-lived "Urban Cowboy," her Broadway choreographic debut. Also proving that there's life after NYCB was cast member Robert Wersinger, who's been in several shows and the movie "Centerstage." Charlotte d'Amboise was wonderful, as usual. And I particularly admired the last line in her Playbill bio: "Her proudest moment was performing for the Kennedy Center Honors recipient Jacques d'Amboise, her father."

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Gosh, I had wondered if D'Amboise was the daughter of Jacques. So nice to see that yet another of the D'Amboise children is making her stamp within the arts community.

But I am THRILLED :clapping::clapping: :jump: :flowers: for Patti! She so deserves the high praise she's receiving for this role. I am hoping for her that this will relaunch a career that's had its share of fits and starts in recent years.

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Well, Brantley gave her a rave in the Times, which can only help. (The original production does seem to have become Verdon's show, however, much to Lilo's annoyance :)).

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