Revue Reprises Sid Caesar's Wit
NEW YORK — SID CAESAR AND COMPANY Revue conceived by and starring Sid Caesar. At the Village Gate. HAIL, great Caesar! Sid, that is. The fabulous funnyman of television's heyday has reappeared at the Village Gate in Greenwich Village accompanied by a talented team of entertainers and musicians in a review entitled ``An Evening With Sid Caesar ... the Legendary Genius of Comedy.''
The show opens with the recent Caesar creation ``Man Walking Down the Aisle,'' in which an initially jaunty bridegroom determines to be ``glad - happiness comes later.'' Caesar fans can relish some of the comic creations which first came to life in such TV classics as ``Your Show of Shows'' and ``Caesar's Hour.'' These include ``Boy at His First Dance'' (and the same boy a year later), the mimed domestic storm accompanied by the First Movement of the Beethoven Fifth, ``The Penny Candy Gum Machine,'' and ``Grieg Piano Concerto'' (Caesar miming furiously to Elliot Finkel's resounding pianism). There are also the cradle reflections of ``World Through the Eyes of a Baby'' and the free-for-all of ``At the Movies,'' in which Marilyn Sokol and Lee Delano contribute to the mayhem.
All is not high jinks and slapstick. Gerianne Raphel, the argumentative wife of the Beethoven piece, strikes a Wildean note with ``A Wicked Man,'' from the musical comedy version of ``The Importance of Being Earnest.'' She, Miss Sokol, and Caesar lift their voices in selections from Cy Coleman's score for ``Little Me,'' recalling the last Caesar appearance on Broadway (1962). Mr. Finkel and his instrumentalists do a Gershwin medley, with virtuosic embellishments by xylophonist Ian Finkel (Elliot's brother).
The pi`ece de r'esistance of any such occasion has to be ``The Professor,'' in battered top hat and with frock coat awry, waxing dizzily eloquent on a variety of subjects before demonstrating a linguistic skill (in Italian, German, and Japanese) undreamed of by United Nations translators.
``The Professor'' goes back to the earliest days of Caesar foolery and reflects the special collaborative nature of the present revue. With the star himself as creator-contributor, the show represents such talents as those of Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks, and Carl Reiner - all of whom wrote for ``Your Show of Shows'' and ``Caesar's Hour.''
The Village Gate hilarity is currently scheduled to run through mid-July.