By Melissa Rose Bernardo
Updated November 08, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

From the 1994 film of the same unsubtle name, this intimate show musicalizes an unlikely hero: A literature-loving bus conductor who sandwiches his lunch between soliloquies, Alfie (Roger Rees, all rough edges and elegance) is a Wilde man. But that’s only because he lives, breathes, and wears a floral homage to his Irish idol, the dead poet-playwright-poofter Oscar Wilde. Composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime) have penned a fine score, lovingly rendered by the likes of Steven Pasquale (as the object of Alfie’s affection) and Sally Murphy, enchanting as a shop girl who seeks refuge in Alfie’s amateur staging of Salome. But even in Rees’ dexterous hands, this Man still seems, well, unimportant.

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