Johnny Guitar

Starring: Ann Crumb, Judy McLane; Director: Joel Higgins; Opening Date: 03/04/2004

At home on the range between diverting tongue-in-cheekiness and intolerably arch whimsy, the creators of this musical (?) have reduced Nicholas Ray’s 1954 Western (!) to a trifle. To kitsch up something already as overheated as the original film – a delirious showdown between Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge – is to turn it into low camp. So, as bank robbers stop, mid-holdup, to thrust their heads from a vault and sing harmony, we discover that deep strangeness has been replaced by clever fluff. The show succeeds on its own terms, but they are meager. (TC)

Originally posted April 9 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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