Beck Center for the Arts
Professional Theatre
Currently at the Beck Center for the Arts, is a very fun theatrical jaunt called [title of show]. it is quite crazy and inventive. Director Scott Spence has assembled a group of Beck Center regulars, and one new addition to the Beck family, to present this 90 minute fest. [title of show] is an Obie Award-winning musical comedy, featuring a book by Hunter Bell, with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen. The musical is about two guys, writing a musical about two guys writing a musical. this show within a show is a scream, and the concept is incredibly clever. The show chronicles its own creation as an entry in the New York Musical Theatre Festival and follows the struggles of the author Hunter (Will Sanborn) and composer/lyricist Jeff (Pat Miller) and their two actress friends Heidi (Caitlin Elizabeth Reilly*), and Susan (Amiee Collier), during the initial brief (three-week) creative period, before the deadline for submission. All of the shenanigans that go on, is underscored and interactively invaded by Larry Goodpaster, the actual music director of the show, who is on stage as the actual music director of the show within a show. And, in the original script, is named Larry. Kismet!
The first thing that impressed me about the show is that it was sold out. Seeing as last weekend was the fifth weekend of a six-week run, that reveals a lot about word of mouth regarding the show. In some respects, this production reminds me of a college skit that seemed crazy at first, but then really worked. Each of the performers stand on their own merits, and contribute their strengths to the greater good. Collier and Reilly are like the Thelma and Louise of the Studio Theatre. Each possess fierce voices, and both have deft comedic skills, The men seem to be the lifeguards at the pool, each seeming they were cut out of a conservative preppy magazine for musical theatre. they both have that youthful energetic kick that is needed for to sustain this piece, and have the voices to tell the tale. There were some highlights for me. The song “Die Vampire, Die!”, led by Collier is a hot mess of fun. and Reilly’s “A Way Back to Then”, is performed with a beautiful texture, and exquisite nuance. The gentleman hold up well against the ladies, with a beautiful blend of harmonic charm.
Larry Goodpaster (Musical Director and Larry), was a blast to have on stage. His deadpan delivery is fabulous. many of us have enjoyed him behind the scenes, so it was a refreshing change to find him onstage the entire musical playing with his usual flair, and getting to be the jokester he really is at heart.
Director Scott Spence keeps the staging brisk and interesting. There are plenty of moments that the audience throughly enjoyed. Spence is also the Artistic Director of the Beck Center, and decided to throw his Scenic Design hat into the ring on this one. With no fly space for bedazzled chairs to reappear at the end, he incorporates a clever poster reveal at the end, that is wonderful. I thought there could have been a bit more cleverness,,or more surprising moments tied to the choreography for the piece, Musical Director Larry Goodpaster provides excellent guidance for the vocals, and keyboard skills. Becky Adams called a great show. Lighting Designer Trad A Burns (no period after the A) provided great context to the show. Sound Designer Richard B. Ingraham provided terrific sound quality and balance. Tech Director pull the elements together nicely, will able assistance from Technical Assistant Dan Folino.
This is truly a fantastic book, and a fun ride. There is one weekend left. Check it out!!!!!!!
*Actor appears courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association
October 10 – November 16
8pm Fridays
8pm Saturdays
3pm Sundays

$12-$29 Reserved Seating

(216) 521-2540

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Beck Center for the Arts
17801 Detroit Avenue
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
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