July 20, 1998
'Victor/Victoria' lacks excitement
by Deborah Stone
"Victor/Victoria," currently at the 5th Avenue Theatre, has many of the necessary ingredients for what normally would constitute a hit: lavish sets, dazzling costumes, extravagant production numbers and a capable cast who execute their roles smoothly.
The show, however, seems to lack that "special something" which can excite audiences and make them feel they are seeing memorable entertainment.
Perhaps it's the storyline (a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman), which although considered risque and daring years ago, is now just "ho-hum" for today's theatregoers. The cliches, stereotypes and farcical elements are tired and worn, and there are few electrifying or "wow-em" moments. It's also hard not to draw comparisons to the very snappy and sharp screen version of "Victor/Victoria" made years ago, starring Julie Andrews as the down-on-her-luck singer Victoria Grant. Andrews, who originated the role on screen and subsequently on Broadway, was scheduled to perform at the 5th Avenue for the West Coast premiere of the play, but cancelled her engagement due to throat surgery. Anne Runolfsson is the current star of the 5th Ave's production. Runolfsson has an expressive voice with a good vocal range and does a fine job with all her numbers, but after all, she's not Julie Andrews. "Victor/Victoria" is a bit of fluff that entertains on a very light, banal level. The show runs through July 26th. For ticket information call 206-292-ARTS.