Published: February 23rd 2012February 23rd 2012
I started writing this after seeing the show, but before it posted its closing notice.
I have never seen the movie On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, or listened to either the Broadway cast recording or the movie soundtrack. I did of course know the title song, and the basic plotline (person goes to a psychiatrist, psychiatrist regresses patient to a "former life", psychiatrist is attracted to that person....). In the original 1960s version, Daisy Gamble is the patient, and her past life was in 18th century England. In this version, Daisy is now David, with a past life as Melinda Wells, a 1940s jazz singer. As one can imagine, this causes some interesting complications when Dr. Bruckner (Harry Connick Jr looking very nice in a suit) finds himself attracted to Melinda (Jessie Mueller in her Broadway debut). Since David is hypnotized and does not remember what happens during their sessions, he thinks the good doctor is interested in him, leading to more stress on an already tense relationship with his boyfriend.
I've read comments on-line about David Turner's performance as David Gamble being over the top, and that people were unhappy with how the Bruckner/David relationship was portrayed. Personally, I liked David Turner. I felt he was fun to watch and he matured nicely as the show went on. Harry Connick Jr. was a bit stiff in the first act, but that was fine for the character. But I felt that he was wasted a bit in the role. He's on stage for most of the show, since he is narrating, but he really doesn't get to shine that much. As for the portrayal of the "kiss" between Bruckner and David/Melinda, I think it was handled well. Since Bruckner himself is unsure who he is kissing, our not seeing the actual kiss worked for me.
The show wasn't perfect, the orchestra was overpowering singers in first act and there was a lot of walk downstage and sing staging, and the costumes and attitudes of the characters seemed more 1960s than 1974 which is listed as the time of the play in the Playbill. There was some nice lighting effects, and some color changes to the set from Act 1 to Act 2 to show how Bruckner had changed his attitude. When I walked out of the show, I had every intention of seeing it a second time, but unfortunately, the show didn't run long enough for me to get that chance.