Saturday, March 17, 2007


Magpie is something of a cross between the operatic stretches of The Light in the Piazza and (probably) the Latin-inspired themes of In the Heights. I didn't love the former, and I haven't seen the latter, but Magpie is a cute little show that bursts through the small space of The Players Theatre. The latest in a series of shows that seem branded more for a younger audience, Magpie succeeds with the bouncy up-tempo numbers and the story of two young, medicated (but otherwise star-crossed) lovers whose racially divided parents would rather tear them apart. But it's a lot more The Fantasticks than West Side Story, with cheesy numbers set aside for the parents, and lots of developmentally awkward side-songs to establish the auxiliary cast (in this case, a trio of bike messengers with attitude and their thuggish boss). Generally, Magpie is a fun show, but it's limited by technical difficulties in the sound, a predictable (even for musicals) book, and a score that, after a few bouncy beats, succumbs to the same old ballads we've heard a million times before.

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