Wednesday, September 2, 2020

320. LOOK WHERE I'M AT. From my (unpublished) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE NEW YORK STAGE, 1970-1975


Mary Bracken Phillips, Ron Hussman.

LOOK WHERE I’M AT [Musical/Business/Family/Fantasy/Sex] B: James Lessor and Gib Dennigan; M: Joran Ramin; LY: Frank Stanton and Murray Semos; SC: Thorne Smith’s novel Rain in the Doorway; D/CH: Wakefield Poole; S/L: Robert Guerra; C: Rosemary Heyer; P: Jean Marie Lee; T: Theatre Four (OB); 3/5/71-3/7/71 (5)

A conventional book musical with a plot about the eccentric Larkin family, owners of a debt-ridden department store, who misrun the business, preferring instead to live out their dream worlds in the store’s delightful environment. It is told as a sort of fantasy in which a shy young lawyer (Ron Hussman), waiting in the rain outside the store for his wife, suddenly finds himself inside trying to help the business get straightened out and learning that no sales have been made in years.

The toy department’s items are all broken, the book department sells only dirty books, and the bedding department’s sexy salesgirl (Sherri Spillane) helps the male customers try out the merchandise. To save the business, the lawyer decides to burn the place down and collect the insurance, but the scheme fails and he is soon outside again, waiting for his wife.

“[P]olite and harmless,” was Richard Watts’s judgment, and Martin Washburn also found it mildly acceptable, especially in its use of slide projections, films, and the presence of actors in the aisles. Clive Barnes, however, bombed the show as “monstrously ineffectual.”