Lawrence Frascella
April 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Nine

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
118 minutes
Wide Release Date
12/25/09
performer
Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren
director
Rob Marshall
distributor
The Weinstein Company
author
Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano
genre
Romance, musical

We gave it a B

In his Broadway debut, a slyly attractive Antonio Banderas plays a creatively blocked Italian movie director — circa 1960 — who is drowning in women trouble. This chic and stylish revival of the 1982 Tony-winning musical echoes the black-and-white look of the film on which it’s based: Fellini’s classic 8 1/2. Unfortunately, the show’s many charms tend to dissipate, largely due to Maury Yeston’s score, which remains earthbound and lyrically facile. (”Be Italian/You rapscallion!”) But the night gets a huge lift from Banderas’ 16 (yes, 16) sumptuously dressed female costars, the legendary Chita Rivera among them. And Jane Krakowski’s floor-to-ceiling ascent on a satin sheet is a miracle of either stagecraft or muscle power.

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