Around the World (2013)

Around the World at the Mint Theater chronicles a journey of 80 days and thousands of miles, but it's really a journey of rediscovery, one for which the only thing you'll need to pack is a vivid imagination. [...] the seldom-heard Porter songs hold the most interest, especially "Look What I Have Found," a love-at-first-sight number helped along by Rebekah Hinds's beautiful voice, and "Pipe Dreaming," nicely delivered by Rob Eyles. more ...

Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, December 8, 2013

Sail Away (2008)

[...] A less earnest, but equally ardent, love of a different kind of acting was on display at the Lilian Baylis Theater at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday night. I had long been interested in seeing the work of Lost Musicals, a 20-year-old company devoted to performing seldom seen vintage American shows in concert, which antedates the similar Encores! program at New York’s City Center by several years.

The 1961 musical that was resurrected on Sunday, Sail Away, was in fact by an Englishman, Noel Coward. But as Ian Marshall Fisher, the creator of Lost Musicals and the show’s director, told the audience, Coward created Sail Away, a frolicsome tale of a May-September romance on a cruise ship, with American audiences in mind.

Mr. Fisher’s production was pretty bare-boned compared to the increasingly gussied-up Encores! presentations, which look more and more like full-dress Broadway try-outs. There was a single piano, a row of chairs and a cast in black tie, holding scripts. But with an easy-going ensemble led by the charming American actress Penny Fuller (in role created by Elaine Stritch) the show flowed sweetly and enjoyably, and it never felt embarrassingly naked.

Several succulently hammy character portraits recalled the stock company of performers that brought such delicious antic grace notes to the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies for RKO. (Remember Eric Blore?) And the raw pleasure the cast members took from these portrayals was always close to the surface.

This Sail Away made me wish that Encores! would reduce the scale of its productions a bit. More modest versions like Mr. Fisher’s allow you to feel directly the performers connecting with their material — and their audience — and the joy and discovery they derive from it. [...]

Ben Brantley (The New York Times theatre critic) New York Times, July 7, 2008,

A Briton Who's Mad About Musicals

I AM the cockeyed octopus,'' Ian Marshall Fisher said with a room-rattling laugh. ''Optimist, that is! Like the song; a cockeyed optimist, of course. But as a child, listening to that song, octopus is what I heard.''

Mr. Marshall Fisher is the impresario behind the long-running Lost Musicals series in London, which is as affectionately regarded there as is the Encores! concert musicals program at City Center in New York. Mr. Marshall Fisher has crossed the Atlantic for a fund-raising extravaganza, his Manhattan debut: a re-examination of the 1941 Cole Porter musical ''Let's Face It.'' more ...

Barry Singer, New York Times, September 16, 2001

To Long-Lost 'Irma': Welcome Back

LONDON- In a truly stunning summer for long-lost musicals, we now have a hat trick: "Of Thee I Sing" (1931) at the Bridewell, "Nymph Errant" (1933) at Chichester and "Irma La Douce" (1958) at the Watermill in Newbury. All three are unmissable and unbeatable, but "Irma" is something still more special. Its director, John Doyle, and his leading lady, Josephine Baird, are quite simply the best thing to have happened to the British stage musical in the 15 years since Cameron Mackintosh, Trevor Nunn and John Caird first went to work on "Les Miserables" at the Barbican. more ...

Sheridan Morely, New York Times, August 25, 1999

New Life for Lost Musicals in London

LONDON, May 25- Who could forget a musical comedy lyric like "The Greeks have got the girdle, we have to get over that hurdle"? Almost everybody, it seems, a fact that helps to explain the continuing popularity here of "Discover the Lost Musicals," a concert series that has just entered its fourth season.

On a recent Sunday evening, an enthusiastic audience watched 15 unpaid actors, wearing evening dress and wielding scripts, sing about the girdle, the hurdle and various mythological tussles between the Amazons and Greeks. The occasion was a concert performance of "By Jupiter," the 1942 musical by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. A neglected work, to be sure, but one created by what Ian Marshall Fisher, the series' impresario, calls the "creme de la creme of musical theater writers." more ...

Suzanne Cassidy, New York Times May 26, 1992