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"...any right-minded theatergoer demanding illusion, story, and catharsis is bound to feel short-changed..." Oh, my God...you mean a musical revue of the music of Fats Waller is...a musical revue? Without a plot? Did this come as a surprise to you? This is only one of the many observations in your review that strike me as a remarkable grasp of the obvious. A quick Google search would have told you this (try Wikipedia).
Here's another one--"What's it doing in a theatre?" Well, unsurprisingly, it has been quite successful in theatres, including the Longacre Theatre on Broadway, where it ran for two years (before moving twice more and running an additional year and a half). The Longacre has approximately the same dimensions as the "cavernous" Clarence Brown, except, of course, it has twice as many seats. (And by the way, it ran without the benefit of a half price ticket booth). Yes, the show started in a cabaret with seventy seats--I should know; I was there--but it has clearly proved itself in a variety of venues over the last thirty years. There are six productions either currently running or planned, and they'll play in a wide range of theatres (including a new national tour--try the web site of MTI, the licensing agency; they're mentioned in the Clarence Brown program).
You are entitled to your critical opinions, certainly, and your writing style is head and shoulders above the buffoon on the Knoxville News Sentinel ("The was a crowd. They were pleased." Dear God...) But just a little mental exercise, please, when dealing with the facts.
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