(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/11/13.)
Based on the 1992 movie by Andrew Bergman, who also wrote the salty book for this show, and featuring a revelation of a score by Jason Robert Brown, “Honeymoon in Vegas” is no facile satire. Instead, it captures, tickles and exalts the singular sensibility of a desert city based on surreal estate. Like Las Vegas itself, “Honeymoon” exists at the corner of tacky and hip. As performed under the single-malt-smooth direction of Gary Griffin, it’s a swinging hymn to laid-back outrageousness.
Though the songs have of-the-moment lyrics that brazenly rhyme Beyoncé with fiancée, and Prada with enchilada, “Honeymoon” could almost pass as one of the best musicals of the early 1960s. That was the last-gasp period for the well-made, un-self-conscious and insistently tuneful song-and-dance show. Such a throwback quality is appropriate to a work that takes place in a time-warp town, where the dapper, bacchanalian ghosts of the Rat Pack still haunt the casinos.