Come Fly Away brings a whimsically sexy explosion of incredible dancing, choreography and live music to the Kennedy Center through the end of April. Scored by the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra himself accompanied by an incredible live brass band, Come Fly Away follows the progression of four couples in a happening 1940′s styled NYC nightclub as they dance their way through love at first sight, jealous fights, and heartfelt apologies; with a hearty bit of posturing through each number, their friendly competition consistently delivering higher leaps, longer spins and more passionate lifts.
Conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away represents the apogee of Tharp’s creative relationship with Sinatra and his music, which began in 1976 when Tharp first staged a Sinatra number called One More Frank, a duet which she created for the American Ballet Theatre to be performed by herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Tharp continued staging Sinatra’s music throughout the 1980s (among other projects) and in 2010, Come Fly Away opened on Broadway. Sinatra himself cited Tharp’s adaptations as one of the purest expressions of his body of work.
The cast of Come Fly Away never ceased to amaze and inspire with their lively and passionate movement, and despite the lack of dialogue, expressing compelling chemistry between characters and storylines. Costuming ranged from ’40s retro to deconstructed modern, with a sexy burst of lingerie and bared chests halfway through the production. The brass band was impeccable, their musical stylings pairing perfectly with Sinatra’s vocals (despite the vocals being recorded years ago.) A few jazz standards entered the mix, the instrumentalists shining with blistering solos and improvisations. Most impressive were the acrobatics of the dancers – in addition to their unbelievable energy sustained in each number. Over and over the audience was delighted by feats of elegant athleticism and ebullient passion, which resulted in a standing ovation from the full house.
The production’s length at 80 minutes (without an intermission) provided time for 26 songs, the perfect amount of rousing entertainment. Come Fly Away is showing at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater until April 29 with tickets ranging from $69-$125, although make sure to check out the Kennedy Center’s reduced ticket programs for students, military, and people with disabilities or on a low/fixed income, more information on “specially priced tickets” or SPTs, can be found here or by calling the box office at (202) 467-4600.