This was a new production of the Strauss operetta at the Met. Way too long and boring. Note to the Met: an operetta should not be long, and never boring! Douglas Carter Beane wrote a new script for the show, and he was the reason we were there - - he wrote the book for the Broadway musical *Xanadu* (which I saw three times, it was a scream), the play *The Nance* (a very powerful play he wrote for Nathan Lane), and the screenplay for *To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar* (a silly movie I’ve seen many times). The jokes weren’t always funny, there was too much dialogue, and, as Richard pointed out, clearly they’re opera singers and not actors, they know nothing about pacing dialogue. I was a dresser for a production of *Anything Goes* in college, and the director’s credo for musical comedy was three words: louder, faster, funnier. *Fledermaus* didn’t need to be louder, but it sorely needed to be faster and funnier. This champagne was lacking fizz.
Adam Fischer was the conductor, and did a delicious job - - the overture was one of the highlights of the show, I got weepy when the big waltz theme came in, it’s such brilliant music. The sets and costumes were dazzling. The singers all did a good job: Susanna Phillips as Rosalinde (though her high notes were a little hit-or-miss), Christopher Maltman as Eisenstein (charming, well sung), Jane Archibald as Adele (her second act aria was another high point), Anthony Roth Costanzo as Orlovsky (he gets an A for effort, and since he’s a counter tenor, let’s make it a high A), Michael Fabiano as Alfred (he made the most of his smallish part), and Paolo Szot as Dr. Falke (his singing was rather labored, and his dialogue even more so). Broadway actor Danny Burstein played the jailer in the third act, a role that’s been played at the Met by Jack Gilford, Dom DeLuise, Sid Caesar, and others. None of them were saddled with the unfunny anachronism-laden dialogue that Burstein had to deal with - - references to Andrew Lloyd Webber, *West Side Story*, Harvey Fierstein, you name it. Chronic eyeroll, anachronissimo! A little of that goes a long way.