The screens lit up with footage of "West Side Story," and Audra McDonald and John Lloyd Young convinced us we were in a B'way palace. Everyone delivered like it was opening night on the Great White Way. Catherine Zeta-Jones returned in a slinky silver gown to deliver "Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine" from "Showboat" as footage showed the showboat -- as I saw it filmed -- steaming through Lot 3 of MGM (now a retirement community). Victor Garber and Donna Murphy gave us a lotta "Little Night Music" to recall fondly. James Marsden a la Frank Sinatra was backed by a gorgeous chorus line and "I Could Write A Book." And we could write a rave. Kristin Chenoweth took us memorably to "The Little Shop Around The Corner." And "Carousel" made an auspicious turn with Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman as "If I Loved You" was again loved by this 2008 audience.
A timely (Proposition 8) theme was noted by Mauceri as he introduced the "Hairspray" reprise with the energetic Elijah Kelly and a dancing chorus of 12. Katherine proved terrific tap terping as well and at 9:45 the entire cast finale'd to "That's Entertainment." It certainly was. The show was produced by Dan Jinks and Lauremce Mark. Adam Shankman directed and choreo'd...Wolfgang Puck's platoons served the pre- and post-party but Wolfie was not on hand, as he was helping his son Byron celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with his friends at the Pacific Design Center. The adults helped him launch the day at Spago after the religious service. Mazel tov.