A good old-fashioned musical -- with tongue in cheek. Dames at Sea. Musical comedy by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller (book and lyrics), Jim Wise (music). Directed and choreographed by Neal Kenyon.

With ``Dames at Sea'' securely docked at the Lamb's Theatre, New Yorkers have received a lively infusion of stage entertainment from Florida's Asolo State Theatre, one of several resident professional troupes currently visiting New York. The Floridians have come to town with an excellent revival of a 1968 Off Broadway hit, a spoof of the Dick Powell-Ruby Keeler musicals of a bygone Hollywood. Author-lyricists George Haimsohn and Robin Miller have applied affectionate laughter to a catalog of stock characters and situations, from the dewy-eyed provincial who saves the show and becomes an overnight star to the production number aboard the battleship that gives the show its title. The tongue-in-cheek libretto and Jim Wise's catchy tunes have stood the test of years, as has the oft-told tale itself.

The performance staged and choreographed by Neal Kenyon is consistently bright and amusing, well sung, and precisely tapped. The campiness of the lampoon is kept reasonably tempered by a young cast who could only have seen the great Hollywood musicals in movie revivals or TV reruns. The company at the Lamb's consists of Donna Kane (a demure Ruby), George Dvorsky (Dick, a sailor with a gift for instant composition), Susan Elizabeth Scott (the predatory Mona Kent), Dorothy Stanley and Dirk Lumbard (the indispensable comic duo), and Richard Sabellico (doubling as a harassed producer and a spit-and-polish battlewagon skipper).

The pleasures of the score include ``Choo-Choo Honeymoon,'' ``Raining in My Heart'' (replete with umbrella routine), and ``The Beguine,'' a dance that never fails to amuse songwriters. Under the smooth guidance of musical director Janet Aycock, a two-piano-and-percussion accompaniment suffices admirably for the needs of the score and the intimate Lamb's Theatre. Scenery and costume designer Peter Harvey has devised some zingy special effects, and Roger Morgan's lighting not only illuminates the action but helps develop the plot. So it's all aboard for ``Dames at Sea.'' Ship ahoy! -- 30 --

Clear the decks. In its own modest way, ``Dames at Sea'' might even be called a precursor of ``42nd Street.'', which says something for both the travesty and the sentimental appeal of the origina{et

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