New York: What happens in Las Vegas does not always stay there. "Honeymoon in Vegas," based on the 1992 Nicholas Cage movie, arrived on Broadway on Thursday night with a winning dose of glitz and kitsch.
The musical, starring Tony Danza as a dapper, high-rolling gambler, is adapted from the movie of the same name which also featured James Caan and Sarah Jessica Parker. Its Broadway opening at the Nederlander Theatre was replete with skydiving Elvis impersonators and sexy showgirls.
"`Honeymoon in Vegas` answers gloomy Gotham`s crying need for some good lowbrow farce," said trade journal Variety, adding it is just the ticket to warm up freezing New Yorkers.
The New York Times chimed in, saying the production is everything audiences would want it to be.
"That means a little hip, a little square, a little dangerous, a little kitschy and a whole lotta delicious fun," it added.
Danza, best known for his roles in the TV comedies "Taxi" and "Who`s The Boss?", portrays gambler Tommy Korman, a widower who falls madly in love with a younger woman who looks like his deceased wife.
But Betsy Nolan, played by actress Brynn O`Malley, is in Las Vegas to marry her Brooklyn-based fiance, Jack Singer (Rob McClure), who unfortunately has a fear of commitment because of a curse from his overbearing, late mother.
"Much of the humor in the finger-popping first act derives from Jack and Betsy`s absurd situation," said the New York Post newspaper.
Jack must up his game to keep his girl in the zany plot that moves from the neon lights of Vegas to the shores of sun-drenched Hawaii.
"It`s breezy and fun, full of toe-tapping numbers, witty design touches and frequent bursts of irreverent comic inspiration," said the Hollywood Reporter.
But the entertainment trade newspaper added that the 2-1/2-hour show slumped in the middle before bouncing back.
All the leads won praise from critics who described McClure as a "winning nebbish" and O`Malley as plucky but in need of a new wig.
They reserved special kudos for tap-dancing, crooning Danza, 63, in what the New York Times described as a "breakout performance."
"His Tommy is an ever-mellow figure of both menace and romance, a criminal pragmatist with a soft, dreamy side," it said.
"What he conveys with the tiniest inflection or quirk of a finger is immense and the sum effect of a fabulously sober comic performance," it added.