Something very odd is done to “Adelaide’s Lament.” Kenyon opts to sing it straight rather than offer the time-honored nasal delivery of the song, but just when it’s beginning to exert its own fascination, the number is brought to an abrupt end.
The multitude of Loesser songs are cobbled together via a book written by his daughter Susan Loesser, supplying basic information in Loesser’s own written, spoken or attributed words. But the book is never more than once-over-lightly, and sometimes muddles rather than clarifies points. It almost always views Loesser’s life through rose-colored glasses.
Some of the arrangements are fine, some miss the point. A nice sense of humor is brought to a medley of “tropical movie” songs Loesser knew were downright silly, and two couples singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a nice touch — until one of the men drops his pants. Loesser was a more sophisticated songwriter than that. And while each member of the cast has at least one bright moment, none is able to shine brightly in everything he or she attempts.
The show, which begins with Loesser’s voice speaking and singing the “Can Do” lyrics from “Guys and Dolls” and has a Hirschfeld cartoon of Loesser on its backdrop, is supported by an offstage trio of musicians, accomplished music director Richard DeRosa taking over the onstage piano to accompany the revue’s title song.
Richard Sabellico’s direction and choreography are mostly brisk and buoyant, but the ultimate reaction to “Heart and Soul” is that it doesn’t do justice to Loesser’s creative output.