Tuesday, May 14, 2019

"Rough Cuts" at Nautilus Music-Theater: "Hurricane"

It's the second week of the month, and that means it's time for another "Rough Cuts" at Nautilus Music-Theater. I'd go to every one if my schedule would allow, so fun and fascinating it is to experience a new work of music-theater in development. Fortunately this week is a fairly light one for me (only four shows on the schedule), so I was able to make it Nautilus' Lowertown St. Paul studio space to see a reading the new musical Hurricane, by L.A. based Cory Hinkle (libretto) and Carla Patullo (music). The performance will be repeated tonight (likely with a few tweaks, as workshops go) across the river at the Playwrights' Center. For a suggested donation of just $5, you too can experience this lovely new musical performed by some of #TCTheater's best. See Nautilus' Facebook page for details and to be informed about upcoming "Rough Cuts" (the next one is a selection from their annual composer-librettist studio on June 3-4).

Hurricane is the story of, well, a hurricane. In a south Texas town, an unnamed woman who hasn't left her house in years sees everything she's collected destroyed in the flood waters. When a mute little girl washes up, she decides to leave to return the girl to her home (whether she wants it or not). It's a geographic journey on a boat through flooded country, but it's more about the internal journey that this woman goes on as she comes to terms with her past and decides to move forward with her future. She meets a series of men along the way, who may or may not be facets of the same person, or even facets of herself. There's also a trio of radio broadcasters as her only communication with the outside world.

The reading is performed by a mostly local cast (Elena Glass, Gary Briggle, Katie Consamus, Kym Chambers Otto, and Eric Morris, who also plays guitar) plus L.A. based Minnesota native Marnie Mosiman, who has been with the piece for a while, which is obvious from her connection to and comfort with the music and this character. They're accompanied by Music Director Jerry Rubino on piano as they perform this gorgeous and varied Americana score. It feels like this could be one of those small-cast musicals in which the cast and band are one, with a perfect 90 minutes no intermission runtime. I hope to see it again.