By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for SouthFloridaReporter.com, July 13, 2015 – A commendable if offbeat facet of America’s character, even in this Independence Day season, is our ability to see the flaws in the American Ethos even as we absolutely and wholeheartedly celebrate it. One of the best examples has been any look at the life and career of master showman and poster boy for the pursuit of the American Dream, George M. Cohan.
George M is a razzamatazz, flag-waving, tuneful, toe-tapping, tap-dancing bio-revue tailor-made for the target audiences embracing its current revival at The Wick Theatre.
But written in 1968 as the world was changing, it also depicts the hero’s drive that ran over people closest to him, his boundless self-confidence that toppled over into arrogance, and a need for adulation that quickly jettisoned anything but unquestioning support. In short, if you can take a step or two back, George Mintentionally or unintentionally forces us to see the duality of that can-do optimism and post-Manifest Destiny confidence that made us the leading power for much of the 20th Century.
All of this plays against a greatest hits song-and-dance soundtrack of “Give My Regards To Broadway,” “Over There,” “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”