Hazel, A Musical Maid in America | Drury Lane Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Hazel, A Musical Maid in America Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 29 2016

Remember Hazel? I do. It was a TV sitcom based on cartoons by Ted Key, about a live-in maid who runs the suburban family she works for. The show was successful enough to last five seasons, from 1961 to '66, but couldn't be called remarkable except as the final humiliation for Shirley Booth, who became a Broadway star and Oscar winner for Wiliam Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba only to age into Hazel's apron. What made Ron Abel, Chuck Steffan, and Lissa Levin think it needed to become a musical remains a mystery to me, even now that I've seen this world-premiere production. My guess is they got into the retro atmospherics, heavily represented in Abel's score, Kevin Depinet's sets, and director-choreographer Joshua Bergasse's dances—though Levin's book corrects for 21st-century feminism. The result, like Hazel herself, is overbearing, but also kinda sweet. And several performances render the pointlessness much easier to take: Summer Naomi Smart as the mom, an amazing Casey Lyons as her son, Rowan Moxley as the son's pal, Meghan Murphy as a sexed-up military officer, Ed Kross as an eccentric millionaire, and Klea Blackhurst, alternately kibbitzing and belting as Hazel. —Tony Adler

Price: $40-$60

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