Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Landing

The Landing, John Kander and Greg Pierce's musical triptych at the Vineyard, is theoretically about love, loss, betrayal, fantasy, and death. And yet it is not about much of anything, really; all three mini-musicals lack conflict, tension, suspense, and compelling characterizations.

In Andra, a friendless boy bonds with a carpenter renovating the kitchen. When something finally actually happens, it's a feeble bad-news moment that carries no weight because, really, who cares?

In The Brick, a woman falls in love with, yes, a brick. Granted, it's a charming brick, played by the wry and always appealing David Hyde Pierce in 1920's gangster regalia, but The Brick is silly and pointless.

The Landing, in which a gay male couple adopt what seems to be the perfect son, has potential, but its sloppiness and lack of focus water down the impact it might have.

The 90-minute evening has one redeeming feature: in the last 10 or 15 minutes, David Hyde Pierce gives us a level of emotion, meaning, and complexity that the rest of the show completely lacks.

John Kander's music is often lovely, and the four-person band does well by it. Greg Pierce's lyrics are better than his book writing, but that's not saying much. Julia Murney and Paul Anthony Stewart are okay, and Frankie Seratch is not quite okay. Only David Hyde Pierce rises about the overall mediocrity.

(sixth row center; tdf ticket)

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