With Teri Adams, Terry O'Reagan and Sanet Allen at his side, Barnhart opens the show not with something you'd expect (like "Love Makes the World Go Round") but with "Yakko's World," which crunches the name of nearly every country into a traditional melody. Three songs in, during a selection saluting France, after Allen's "La Vie en Rose" and O'Reagan's "I Love Paris," Adams hilariously warbles Dave Frishberg's "Another Song About Paris," in which she laments every cliché ever penned about the city. Ending with the proclamation that songs about Paris have been "done to death," Adams yanks away the tablecloth yet leaves her costars' crockery undisturbed.
Sincerity and parody continue to creatively play off one another. The production addresses Russia with "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. It's followed by "The Boy From," a Stephen Sondheim-Mary Rodgers ditty that lampoons the faux bossa nova of "The Girl From Ipanema."
The remainder of the first act is mostly Noel Coward, whose veddy Briddish puns and misanthropy grace "Uncle Harry" and "I Went to a Marvelous Party," with an increasingly sloshed O'Reagan losing syllables as he drains his martini.
Teri Adams rouses the most enthusiastic response with Kander and Ebb's "But the World Goes 'Round" -- perhaps some subtle swipe at Liza Minnelli's circus-cum-wedding, but not to the song's detriment. Barnhart's intent to shake up the expected Quality Hill pattern reveals itself anew in Act Two, in which Sondheim precedes Puccini and "Danny Boy," which precedes an Irish pub song by O'Reagan that details the inventive serial slaughter of a family.
Four Cole Porter songs and one Scott Joplin tune lead up to an anthem from The Prince and the Pauper, whose sentiment that "All of Us Are the Same" would do well to find its place on the desk of Florida's governor. Toward the last quarter of the show, choices like "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and "Thank You for Sharing," while finely delivered, are perplexing in a show about globe-trotting. Even so, the trip to that point has been more than invigorating -- business class all the way.