Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fringe Festival: "Are You There God? It's a New Musical Review!"

Day: 1

Show: 1

Created by: Suzy Winter

Location: Illusion Theater

Summary: As they peruse a used book sale, five singer/actors (Windy Bowlsby, Kathleen Hardy, Bill Rolon, Paul Whittemore, and Suzy Winter) perform songs about growing up, mostly from musicals. There is no dialogue or plot, but they do read a few excerpts from Judy Blume books, including, of course, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

Highlights: This is a charming and entertaining show, with well-chosen songs to describe the growing up experience. The creators really did their research, as many of the songs are from little-known (at least to me) musicals, such as Snoopy! The Musical, Freaky Friday, Little by Little, and Bare: A Pop Opera. More familiar selections include "Something's Coming" from West Side Story and the quintessential musical song about the pre-teen years, "Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" from A Chorus Line. Each cast member gets a solo or two, along with duets and ensemble numbers, nicely choreographed by Windy. They all sing well and with sincerity, with the tone ranging from sad and sweet to funny and tongue-in-cheek. I love that the cast is not made up of young kids; the fact that people who have been "grown up" for a few years are singing these songs somehow makes it more poignant, as if they're remembering what it was like to be a kid, and feeling things more strongly because of the time and distance.

Read more of my fringe fest reflections…

*It's no wonder I liked this show - these are the same people behind the tribute to TV theme songs that I loved so much two years ago!