Stage Review

Johnny Guitar (2004)


Details Opening Date: Mar 04, 2004; Lead Performances: Ann Crumb and Judy McLane; Director: Joel Higgins

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robbers stop, mid-holdup, to thrust their heads from a vault and sing harmony, we discover that deep strangeness has been replaced by clever fluff.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 Apr 09, 2004 Published in issue #759 Apr 09, 2004 Order article reprints

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