Tuesday, March 31, 2009


photo: Paul Kolnik

What one moment of your life would you pick to live in for eternity? That's the question put to a subway car full of the newly dead in this weak, dramatically pat new musical directed by Susan Stroman. One of the show's first segments isn't bad - an elderly woman rises from her wheelchair to replace a vision of her younger self dancing with her first love - but any hopes of Follies-like resonance or thematic complexity are soon dashed by the superficial, often saccharine vignettes that follow. Of course the married couple pick the same moment (awww!) and of course the self-loathing conservative radio host decides to live eternally in her free love hippie past: the show's book traffics in predictable pedantic cliches rather than insight, and isn't helped by an uninteresting pastiche score. The material may be lifeless but the cast, which includes Jenny Powers, Joanna Gleason, and Sebastian Arcules, is to die for. Hunter Foster, playing a kind of civil servant Emcee of the underworld, is especially sensational: he commits so fully to, and throws his considerable know-how and charisma behind, his big song and dance number that he puts a pulse in this dead-on-arrival musical.

No comments: