Tell Me on a Sunday

Rated 4.0

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday is a great showcase for a talented performer to show off her singing and acting chops. And that’s just what Alexandra Ralph does in the Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento production of this one-woman musical show.

Ralph has trod on Actor’s Workshop stage before in The Glass Menagerie and Titus Andronicus. In Tell Me on a Sunday she takes on a real challenge in the story of Emma, a British hat designer trying to make it in New York City. The difficulty is in the cabaret-style musical; the entire show is all songs and no dialogue. There’s no one to play off of—just one woman, one spotlight. To succeed, one has to be an engaging performer with an impressive singing voice. Ralph delivers on both counts.

The other challenge is to make the thin story and character likable, which isn’t a given with the script. This is Webber light—a helium balloon that runs out of air because the score is bland and the plot is weak. It’s basically a string of songs about Emma’s string of men. We begin to wish Emma would spend as much time finding a life as she does finding, losing and pining for men. But under the sharp direction of Michael Claudio, Ralph manages to make us care about Emma, while applauding her strong song styling.