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Public Comment, a New Musical

musicals and operas · public comment productions · Ages 13+ · family friendly · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by anonymous

June 11, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

The idea of city government and the people involved is really cute, kind of like a Parks and Rec but with eccentric citizen characters as well. It’s very relatable. Dance numbers were fun. Good work with lighting, costuming and creating an environment on a low budget. The guy who played the rabbi, surfer and hero has a great voice and did a great job. I also like the woman who sang with the guitar (was not sure why she was moving through space like a dream in other scenes). I also like the opening reading by the council lady.

What I didn't like

More rehearsal and work to develop the narrative. Some of the characters aren’t convincing, some of that is acting choices, and some of it is just the script isn’t quite there. Staging was awkward, with the council and the speakers podium forcing commenters to talk in profile or upstage, and it was a relief when they faced out. Some of the actors were pretty amateur and overacting (not in a convincing, broad character way, just broad, like the guy protesting about the bench, and the mayor). I didn’t get the use of the narrator, who was miscast a s a cop. The director is faulted for not getting actors to take stage (exceptions being the spotlight singing and some of the dance numbers), cheat for the audience.

My overall impression

The script, songs, direction and level of talent were uneven, but the premise was clever, and I did laugh a lot. I also grimaced a lot at some of the earnest but ineffective elements.
I do think the idea has potential for a really great version.

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