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  Play Details

The Kid From Brooklyn: The Danny Kaye Musical

Mercury Theater
3745 N. Southport Ave Chicago

Based on the turbulent and triumphant life of Danny Kaye, this intimate musical portrayal chronicles Kaye’s career and his relationships on and off the stage as we follow the rise of Danny Kaye from an undisciplined improvisational comic to his success under the guidance of his wife, Sylvia Fine. An amazingly versatile pair of supporting players appears and disappears throughout the performance creating distinct and believable portrayals of a myriad of luminaries who are interwoven with Kaye and Fine.

Thru - Jul 20, 2008

Wednesdays: 2:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:00pm



Price: $32.50-$48.50

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-325-1700

Running Time: 2hrs 30mins; one intermission


Mercury Theater Seating Chart


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  The Kid From Brooklyn: The Danny Kaye Musical Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Childer's eyes dart everywhere but he never looks the audience in the eye. He shouts, grimaces and races around the stage. He does a lot well. But you don't feel like you see his heart. And that tone—energetically competent but unwilling to slow down and take real emotional risks—afflicts the whole show. You don't see much difference between the on- and off-stage personas, even though such contrasts explained everything about the stars of this era and, especially, about Kaye himself."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...The show's stiff book (with a somewhat stronger second act) surrounds the troubled marriage with cartoon versions of everyone else in the couple's life, with Christina Purcell (as Eve Arden, Kitty Carlisle and Gertrude Lawrence) and Adam LeBow (as film moguls, agents and Laurence Olivier) changing costumes and poses at every turn. The onstage band often overwhelms the singers. And the lingering impulse is just to rent Kaye's old movies or catch vintage clips on YouTube."
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Hedy Weiss


SouthtownStar - Not Recommended

"...You have to be a die-hard Danny Kaye fan to sit through the corny "The Kid From Brooklyn," playing at the Mercury Theater in Chicago. The nostalgic musical is an overwrought biographical revue of the life of the popular comedian."

Betty Mohr


Chicago Reader - Not Recommended

"... The script, by Mark Childers and director Peter J. Loewy, comes off as hackneyed showbiz soap opera in its handling of Kaye's stormy marriage to manager/songwriter Sylvia Fine, and the supporting cast offer cliched caricatures of such legendary figures as Gertrude Lawrence, Cole Porter, Laurence Olivier, and Kaye's lover Eve Arden."

Albert Williams


NewCity Chicago - Not Recommended

"...It's a shame since the charismatic Brian Childers, as kaye, folds childlike whimsy and a desperate eagerness-to-please into a high-octane performance that gives you a glimmer of what the real Kaye must have been like. But he doesn't give you insight- given the inferior material with which he has to work- and his performace is ultimately ineffective. At this point, The Kid From Brooklyn doesn't need an audience, he needs better writing."

Fabrizio O. Almeida


Chicago Free Press - Somewhat Recommended

"...in detailing a career that spanned more than 40 years through a stream of fast-moving vignettes, “The Kid from Brooklyn” skims over the life of a fascinating man. The emotional complexity that fertilized Kaye’s unique brand of genius gets lost amid all the scene changes and cameo appearances."
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Louis Weisberg


Gay Chicago Magazine - Recommended

"...Co-author Brian Childers plays Danny and captures Kaye’s style in attitude, vocals and speech. Childers has Kaye’s physical grace and trademark high-pitched giggle down to a tee. His comedy scat pantomime of a World War II army inductee is a hoot. However, he doesn’t quite live up to Kaye when it comes to the quick patter songs. It’s one thing to get the notes out and another to get them out with each word clear. Here Childers sometimes struggled."

Carla Gordon


EpochTimes - Somewhat Recommended

"...While the script is a little weak, the talent is high. The only problem is the sound. I am not sure if the orchestra was too loud or the performers too soft, but one of Danny Kaye's talents was the ability to put a lot of words out there in just a short period of time, and the audience must hear the words to make it a clear talent. If muffled, it has no meaning and therefore not a memorable experience."

Al Bresloff


Copley News Service - Recommended

"...Judging from the large audience at my performance, “The Kid from Brooklyn” will attract a senior citizen audience with fond memories of Kaye. Childers’s bravura impersonation may satisfy these customers, but I left the theater feeling that I could have spent the evening more profitably watching Kaye in “Knock on Wood,” still the funniest movie I’ve ever seen."

Dan Zeff


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Brian Childers is technically dazzling, and even looks the part, but there’s something a little cold about his impersonation, echoed in the bellicose edge he imparts to Kaye’s more calisthenic performances. All the singers press a little hard, maybe because they’re working against a faintly soulless script, dominated by an accurate but stock manager-wife, actress-mistress love triangle—with a nod to rumored fourth-wheel Laurence Olivier—and the standard résumé-credit whistlestop tour."
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Brian Nemtusak


ChicagoCritic - Not Recommended

"...Amazingly, Childers, despite his best efforts, fails to captures Danny Kaye’s mystique. Few in the audience laughed at Kaye’s shtick. Fewer responded to his audience involvement efforts to have the audience sing along with him. Childers fell flat as Danny Kaye at the performance I attended."
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Tom Wiliams


  Related Articles

Oh, Danny boy! Kaye musical taps into the many layers of multifaceted performer
From Chicago Sun Times
By Misha Davenport

  The Kid From Brooklyn: The Danny Kaye Musical Photo Gallery


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