June 24, 2011
musicals in la is my blog, i also do interviews/feature articles for broadwayworld.com
My overall impression
The last time I saw GROUP was during a press preview in December prior to its January 2011 run at the Powerhouse Theatre. Since then, it’s clear that a great deal of thoughtful consideration has gone into its continued development.
The writers have clarified the convention of “musical” group therapy in a way that is much more believable. Act I has found its rhythm with improved pacing, the relationships between the characters are stronger, and the actors have relaxed into their roles. Two performances in particular standout, Isaac Wade as Dr. Allen and Trevor Algatt as Phillip, however the work of the entire ensemble has become much more nuanced and natural.
Vocals are occasionally out of tune when several of the actors push the notes at the top of their register, which better breath support would help. The emotional engagement for the audience is high though as GROUP taps into our universal need to be loved.
It is nice to see the evolution of this promising new musical continue. Congratulations to all involved.