|Russell Nype and Janet Blair|
Museum owner Whitelaw Savory (George Gaynes) is anxiously waiting for a statue of Venus to arrive in his office when a substitute barber named Rodney Hatch (Russell Nype) places a ring on the statue's finger and she comes to life. Venus (Janet Blair) inexplicably falls in love with the nerdy Rodney, although he resists her charms because he's engaged to the rather witchy Gloria (Mildred Trares). Venus disposes of Gloria even as Whitelaw woos the goddess and still tries to find out where the statue is. Eventually Rodney is accused of Gloria's murder, but fortunately the gal isn't gone forever. Rodney and Venus happily plan for a rather earthbound future on Staten Island. But will these two opposites continue to attract?
|George Gaynes and Janet Blair|
As for the performers, no one really has the light touch that this type of whimsical material requires, making the story pretty silly, but it's saved by the songs. And the singing of the principals really makes this work. I always knew Janet Blair as a competent light dramatic and comedic actress but never knew how really talented she was, as she sings her numbers for all that they're worth. Russell Nype also has a good voice and delivers on his numbers. George Gaynes was a busy Broadway performer and while some may find his voice old-fashioned, I have to say I love his singing style. Nype also did a lot of stage work. Weill's music is lilting; Nash's lyrics clever and funny.
Verdict: This may seem crude compared to the film version, but this has all the songs and they sing! ***.