Over the past six years we've reviewed a few plays adapted from books, a few plays taken from movies and, of course, many plays that have become movies, but how about a pop song that has become a musical? That's what we have now running at the Buell Theatre with Barry Manilow's Copacabana, based on his Grammy Award winning song of the same name.

Manilow has done very well as a pop artist over the years, with 25 top 40 hits to his credit, but the very talents that may appeal to the masses of radio listeners are not the same as those that shape a Broadway hit. And while it must be said that the adaptation of the song attracted decent numbers as a television show and that the musical is fresh from 18 months of sold out performances in London, it remains more of a musical review that tells a story than a story set to music.

The sets are slick, the performers energetic and polished, yet we're faced with characters who are mostly caricatures, with minimal motivation much like the dynamics of so many movies out of the late '30's and early '40's from which Copacabana takes its style.

If Vegas is your cup of tea and your car radio is tuned to top 40 stations, then you may find Copacabana mildly entertaining. But hey, you're listening to a jazz station and you probably read literature, not Rod McKuen. Copacabana runs through March 18th. 303-893-4100.


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