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TO OCTOBER 8
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The sets are copies of Oliver Smith’s originals and Carol Channing is still—as the title song’s lyrics put it—“goin’ strong,” but this 30th-anniversary production isn’t likely to give anyone a sense of why this show was, for a time, the longest-running musical in Broadway’s history. Channing once made you think she was in control of the evening by occasionally falling behind the beat and letting the bandleader adjust to her pace. Now she’s just playing catch-up, and doing so on every lyric she croaks in that endearing basso profundo of hers. In fact, the only time she really comes into her own is in a vaudeville bit that finds her stuffing an entire plate of dumplings into her mouth. And she’s not the biggest problem with this production. Lee Roy Reams, in the name of recreating Gower Champion’s original staging, has pretty much shredded the musical’s cleverness (the second number, once a terpsichorean explosion for the male chorus, is now a tame little song and dance). He’s retained the shape, but not the spirit. At 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, at 7 p.m. Sunday, matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday at the Kennedy Center Opera House. $40-55. (202) 467-4600. (Bob Mondello)