DISAPPOINTING - I WANTED TO TEAR MY EYES OUT IN FRUSTRATION!!!
I was excited to go because of the review that had already been posted online. And anyone who knows me will tell you I am the best audience member ever. So I am not panning this without good reason.
It started with some promise and quickly went down hill. Let me spare you the money and time... everyone falls in love and no one in the audience will care.
First of all... the lighting was terrible. There was an entire song that was done in TOTAL darkness... and another song about one characters dead brother that was extremely dark with no emotion whatsoever.
A huge problem in the acting was that I didn't care at all for any of these characters.
I blame a lot of that...
I so wanted to like this show. The concept, of the transformation of Samuel Clemens into Mark Twain, was great in principle, but was not what was conveyed on stage. Other than Owen Arthur Reynolds' performance as John Piper, the rest of the cast seemed to be "dialing it in." The casting did not seem to fit the story, and there were many times when it seemed like the entire cast was onstage merely to provide unneeded background. There was an utter lack of emotion, as if they were too bored to play their parts. Many of the songs were too long, merely repeating the same thing in a different way. The best musical number was the barbershop quartet, singing to the happy couple.
There are so many great shows at the Fringe. Unfortunately...
certified reviewerJune 17, 2012
This show has great potential. I think the plot lines could be defined a bit more. The majority of the show did seem to focus on a secondary plot line rather than main character. The singing was alright. There were a few singers that were absolutely fantastic, the bartender was spot on perfect through the entire show. I think the best number in the show is the barbershop quartet number done without music. I think, especially at Fringe, this show could have been served by just having piano accompaniment rather than a pre-recorded score that at some points seems to add a bit too much synthesized drum beats. With a little more development I really think this could be a huge hit. Can't wait to see how it develops after Fringe!...
Don't give up! This musical has a solid heart, and while assuredly in its adolescence, I feel it has strong merit.
The striking issue to me is the lack of a clear concept. If this is a show about Samuel Clemens becoming Mark Twain, why is the most dramatic conflict in his life taking place several yards offstage? Why is the lead romantic couple two auxiliary characters? What are the consequences for the world of the show (the bar, the dancers, the clientele, etc) from Sam's transformation, and how does that effect his decision?
I feel as though the music can make a solid decision. Does this show - as I first experiences it, and dearly hoped it would be, so my bias is declared - want to live as a Honky-Tonk "period" piece that comments ...
This play is definitely one to see. The music is magnificent, and the lyrics are very clever. The actress portraying Rose has an unbelievable voice, and she really shined when taking a lead melody behind the beautiful harmonies of the full ensemble numbers. Outside of one line flub, the show seemed very polished, and the cast each showed their chops as musical theater performers. Great ensemble, no real weak links.
I think the tech people should also be recognized for the mix. Usually, that is what bothers me the most about small budget musicals, but the vocals/music mix was excellent.
Really looking forward to seeing more collaborations from the Wisehart brothers.
certified reviewerJune 20, 2012
This show needed a lot less musical. Focus on the characters and the story. It's not even a musical, it's an Operetta.
Also, the songs repeat themselves constantly, and often drag. The story suffered severely because of it. Often it would be 2 or 3 8-counts of singing, then an 8-count of music, then some more singing, then another rest of just music, and I kept wondering, why couldn't they just keep singing?
I think this would have been a much better show if it wasn't a musical....
certified reviewerJune 20, 2012
I really try to like any show that I see, giving it the benefit of the doubt, but this musical was just awful. The songs are so bad, with the performers basically singing a string of badly written lyrics when they could have just have easily spoken them. Either way, the words would have been uninspiring. I'm really disappointed in the limited singing ability of the majority of the cast, all the guys especially, considering the performance is almost 90% singing. The incoherence of the script in general was disturbing as well. There were random songs thrown in that had nothing to do with any sort of plot or purpose. Donating to orphans? Autumn social? There has to be some connectivity between songs and scenes and this play didn't even ...