Theater: Hello Again to the Long Goodbye

CITY OF ANGELS Music by Cy Coleman; Lyrics by David Zippel

Book by Larry Gelbart

The ballad throbs to a climax, the two singers look at each other in a confession of mutual need, and the title line of mock-bragging devotion, You're Nothing Without Me, reverberates from the rafters. All in all, a classic first-act finale -- except that in this musical the characters who vow undying fidelity are a nerdy novelist turned screenwriter and the hard-boiled detective he has created on page and celluloid.

That quirky, funny, oddly thrilling moment epitomizes the twofold cleverness of City of Angels, which opened...

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