Stage Review

NINE (2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Opening Date: Apr 10, 2003; Lead Performance: Antonio Banderas; Director: David Leveaux

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.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2003 Published in issue #705 Apr 18, 2003 Order article reprints