While actually quite closely based on the famed Clara Bow film that is its namesake, this show is actually a perfect recreation of a Jerome Kern-P.G. Wodehouse Princess Show. It is, admittedly, a very nice bit of pastiche—the plot of the film perfectly matches the plot of a typical Princess Theater musical comedy, and the wonderful score could easily hold its own with minor Jerome Kern. Its neophyte songwriters do a superb job on both music and lyrics in such items as the delightful dance tune “Why Not”, the deliciously witty villain song “A Perfect Plan”, the enchanting “Coney Island”, the showstopper “Step Into Their Shoes”, and the beautiful lullaby “Mama’s Arms”. Unfortunately, the very plot that transferred so perfectly from silent film to old-style musical comedy does not transfer at all to the expectations of modern theater. This contrived, labored sitcom plot simply comes off as silly and dated now, and no amount of good music is going to change that: if real old-style classics like Babes In Arms won’t fly in a major venue because of their script problems, then no pastiche, however well-crafted, is going to get away with it either. Granted, Thoroughly Modern Millie, which was certainly inferior as far as music is concerned, would be a smash hit a season after this show flopped. But Millie, both the show and the movie it was based on, was essentially a parody, lampooning the outdated tropes of the old-style musical genre, whereas this show presents them totally without irony. Also, while leading lady Jean Louisa Kelly has improved vastly since her role in the Fantasticks movie and does a quite decent job here, it goes without saying that she’s no Sutton Foster. The show has its defenders, some of them quite vocal, but it flopped quickly in its off-Broadway mounting, and in spite of respected critic Peter Filichia going out of his way to promote it in one of his books, it hasn’t really caught on anywhere else either. And while I don’t mean to be cruel to a show that was clearly so well-intentioned and had so much talent behind it, I do have to ask exactly what they expected was going to happen when they put out a Twenties musical in the year 2000.