The London Rose

musicals and operas · cotton blend productions · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by BENJAMIN NICHOLSON

June 08, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: oscar wilde · transgender · flowers

What I liked

There is so much heart in this play: complicated characters that are neither totally virtuous nor evil; actors fully inhabiting their characters (I loved Leo Ayala’s performance in particular); a thoughtful and nuanced examination of the challenges in finding love and companionship when one isn’t what others believe they are “supposed to be.” Further, Mia Cotton composed over a dozen original songs for the cast to tell their story, accompanying the show with live piano the whole time – she is an amazing talent!

What I didn't like

Though every moment feels sincere and earnest, the lengthy runtime may be a little challenging for some; I wonder if some of the songs could be condensed or some scenes elided to allow the audience to keep more of its energy for the powerful twist(s) toward the end of the show.

My overall impression

A tremendous effort, from the cast to the playwright, and an important theme for contemporary (and 19th-century) gender discourse.

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