Posts Tagged ‘Bart Edwards’

There seems to be an endless supply of contemporary American four-hander chamber musicals. They often feel more like song cycles. They usually feature people in their 20’s & 30’s with complicated relationships. They’re sometimes a bit too slick and sentimental. What makes this one a cut above is the quality of the music, lyrics, story and characterisation.

Waverley works in a bar but she wants to be an actress. Her boyfriend Darren works in an office but wants to be a writer. Waverley’s colleague Lisa has come to New York to get a girl and take her to California. Darren’s workmate Luke’s dad is a literary agent and Luke gets him to read Darren’s play. When Waverley & Darren break up she begins a relationship with Luke, but neither she nor Darren nor Luke know the connections. They’re all trying to find themselves and make their way in the world.

It’s a simple little story, but the characterisations are good and the book and lyrics are sharp. I loved the songs, which really do propel the story. The cast of four – Jennifer Potts, Bart Edwards, Amelia Cormack & Aaron Lee Lambert, all new to me – are all excellent and well matched (and sound great when harmonising). Michael Webborn’s acoustic band is lovely and subtle amplification ensures a good balance. Anna Michaels set is dominated by a superbly realistic NYC bar where much of the action takes place. Robert McWhir’s staging is up to his usual high standards.

Somehow I missed Joshua Salzman & Ryan Cunningham’s other show I Love You Because, which I’ll hopefully have a chance to catch up with at some point. It’s only May, but this makes a 2013 hatrick of hit musicals for the Landor already.

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