The It Girl

The-It-GirlOriginal Off-Broadway Cast, 2002 (JAY) 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5) Based on It, the 1927 film that starred Clara Bow, The It Girl is a small-scale, 1920s-style musical comedy. It was presented Off-Broadway by the York Theatre Company almost a year before the Broadway opening of Thoroughly Modern Millie, a show it resembles in some respects. Jean Louisa Kelly stars as Betty Lou Spence, a spitfire flapper-type who sets New York aflame with her unique brand of style and sexual appeal. The cast also includes Jonathan Dokuchitz as the object of her affection, Jessica Boevers as the object of his semi-affection, and Stephen DeRosa as the dandy who sets the frantic plot in motion. All of the performers are talented if not exactly bursting with charisma, and the songs provided by composer Paul McKibbins and lyricist B.T. McNicholl are drenched in ’20s rhythms and lively ragtime arrangements. The score’s standout is Boevers’ comic number “A Perfect Plan,” in which she details the peaks and valleys of her troubled love life. A tribute to “Coney Island” is bouncy and tuneful, “Why Not?” is a another cheerfully upbeat entry, and the almost title song “It” is catchy enough to get stuck in your head.  — Matthew Murray