Song and laughter from people in their prime
New York — Taking My Turn. A ''musical celebration'' with music by Gary William Friedman, lyrics by Will Holt. Adapted and directed by Robert H. Livingston.
Composer Gary William Friedman and lyricist Will Holt have come up with ''a musical celebration'' based on the writings of ''people in their prime.'' Called ''Taking My Turn,'' it is filling the Entermedia Theatre with melody, love, and laughter.
From the opening, upbeat measures of ''This Is My Song,'' a fine cast of entertainers in their prime takes turns to deliver the words and music neatly dovetailed into a seemingly casual scenario. No source is indicated for the variously humorous, touching, and philosophical comments and observations that make up ''Taking My Turn.'' The written material was adapted by Robert H. Livingston, who also directed the performance.
Although the age group represented at the Entermedia is roughly in the grandparents' division, ''Taking My Turn'' is more about living than aging. The perky spirit emerges in such numbers as the bubbly ''Fine for the Shape I'm In, '' sung by Margaret Whiting, Marny Nixon, and Cissy Houston.
''Taking My Turn'' luxuriates in a variety of moods and a consistent authority of performance under Barry Levitt's musical direction. Among the highlights are Sheila Smith's ''Two of Me,'' Miss Nixon's ''Vivaldi,'' and Miss Whiting's ''In April,'' as well as her duet with Ted Thurston, ''It Still Isn't Over.''
Then there are Cissy Houston's gospel-style ''I Am Not Old,'' Mace Barrett's ''In This House,'' Tyger Haynes's '' I Never Made Money From Music,'' and Victor Griffin's ''The Kite.'' The show's philosophy of life might be summed up in the first act closer, ''Pick More Daisies.''
Judith Dolan's costumes are just right for the show's combined high spirits and decorum. Thanks to Douglas Norwick's musical staging, the performance is smooth and flowing. Everything's coming up daisies at the Entermedia.