NEW YORK—Musicals may or may not have much to do with real life, and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” is certainly one of the latter. Yet it exudes a charm that enables reincarnations of the show to appear from time to time. There was the 1970 Barbra Streisand movie, a Harry Connick Jr. version in 2011, and the 2000 Encores concert starring Kristin Chenoweth.
Another version now fills the small but accommodating stage of the Irish Repertory Theatre. Adapted and helmed by artistic director Charlotte Moore, the musical tells the unlikely story of a young woman, Daisy Gamble (Melissa Errico), who visits hypnotherapist Dr. Mark Bruckner (Stephen Bogardus) in the hopes that he can get her to give up smoking so that she can get a specific job where smoking is prohibited.
Bruckner, probing her subconscious, finds that she has ESP and telekinetic powers. Good for a laugh is her anticipating the ringing of the phone and seeing flowers literally bursting out of their pots.
Dr. Bruckner discovers that Daisy has a prior incarnation as Melinda Welles, a highborn British aristocrat from several centuries ago. Furthermore, the doctor falls for Melinda, while Daisy, who yearns for him, is left in the lurch.
Some beautiful musical numbers by Burton Lane, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, include love ballads “Melinda” and “She Wasn’t You” and “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have.” These are sung beautifully by Errico and her costar Bogardus and make it all worthwhile. The pared-down supporting cast does well also.
With occasional choreography by Barry McNabb and scenic design and projections by James Morgan, the Rep is presenting a nice package worthy of a midsummer’s viewing.
‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever’
Irish Repertory Theatre
132 W. 22nd St.
Running Time: 2 hours (one intermission)
Closes: Sept. 6
Diana Barth writes for various theater publications, including New Millennium. She may be contacted at diabarth99gmail.com