I remember seeing Honeymoon In Vegas when it was released in movie theaters in 1992. I enjoyed watching it, remember having a bit of a laugh, and honestly never thought about it again. It wasn’t one of those movies that stuck with me, so I’ll admit to having been a little surprised when I heard it was turned into a stage production. Wasn’t there something about flying Elvis’ and a love triangle? I had to see this for myself.
The Marriott Theatre production of Honeymoon In Vegas hit it out of the park; it pulled a royal flush and won the night’s pot at poker. This show was nothing short of pure enjoyment.
The story begins with Jack, a man in love. He has been dating his girlfriend Betsy for five years, but has not yet asked her to marry him. Why? His mother laid a curse while on her deathbed and forbade him from marrying anyone. Therefore, Jack lives in hilarious fear. Enter Betsy, who loves Jack, understands Jack, but is also tired of waiting for Jack. After Betsy issues an ultimatum, the couple decides to run off to Vegas and get married. Enter Tommy – a rich con-artist who lost his wife to cancer and would stop at nothing to get what he wants. Seeing that Betsy (who has just arrived in Vegas to marry Jack) is a virtual clone of his late wife, Tommy sets up a scam in order to “win” Betsy from Jack in a game of cards. It is only for the weekend, but that may be just long enough for Tommy to make it permanent.
This musical is fun. It is engaging with modern lyrics, but is written in the way that we are used to classic musicals being performed. Each character has a few songs where they talk about their love or loss and supporting characters have a song here or there. The same is true for Honeymoon In Vegas, but it’s funnier. It’s lighter. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Supporting characters are actually caricatures with moments of their own. Jack’s long-dead mother shows up throughout the show – and in some of the most inconvenient places. Plus, all of those dancing, sky-diving Elvis impersonators? You’ve just got to see it.
This show was cast flawlessly. Michael Mahler’s Jack, Samantha Pauly’s Betsy and Sean Allan Krill’s Tommy were truly enjoyable to watch. Mr. Mahler’s powerful voice was only matched by the playful expressiveness of his face. Ms. Pauly’s Betsy was confident, witty and self-assured, never falling into the woe-is-me traps that we often see with a lead female character (which was extremely refreshing). Her voice is so effortless that one of her funniest moments was when we were able to see that “Betsy” was clearly not a singer. Mr. Krill, with a luster in his voice, maintained a debonair Robert Redford-esque air about him that – even while scamming – made the audience swoon.
Honeymoon In Vegas is a trip that you want to take. This hilarious and fun take on a movie that you might know is stronger, wittier, spunkier, and more full of energy than its predecessor. The cast, costumes, sets, and talent will blow you away. In short, you’ll feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.
Marriott Theatre: Honeymoon In Vegas Chicago Review – Honeymoon In Vegas is playing at Marriott Theatre through 10/15/17. Tickets can be purchased through Goldstar or by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.