Deadlines. We all hate them, we all fear them. For the majority of writers of musical theatre,
deadlines are even more ominous, as your piece has to work both spoken and sung, not just read. And the anxiety of creating something for a fast approaching deadline is the basis for [title of show], currently running at Brookfield Theatre of the Arts.
[title of show] introduces us to composer Jeff (Nick Mason) and writer Hunter (Rob Bassett), a
down on their luck creative team who take on the daunting task of writing a musical for an upcoming festival. The catch? The submission deadline is in three weeks. In a Hail Mary attempt to make sure they have something to submit, they decide to write their musical about their process writing said musical.
They enlist their friends Susan (Jennifer Beveridge) and Heidi (Jami Valenzia) to bounce ideas off of and perform in the finished product.
As Jeff, Nick Mason pulls off a sweet vulnerability that from the opening note of the show makes
you root for him. The character’s obsession with grammar showcases the anxiety he feels and never once does Mason over play it. On the flipside, Rob Bassett shines as Hunter, the go-getting with the need to succeed. His powerful voice echoes the character’s “Win-Or-Die” attitude that drives the show. Jami Valenzia as the Broadway ensemble member Heidi is delightfully thoughtful as she presents the struggle that many performers face: get paid as a nameless ensemble member in an established show or take the chance to shine in a show that may not make it to opening night. Valenzia never once let go of the anxiety that Heidi is saddled with in this regard. Rounding out this eclectic group of characters is
Jennifer Beveridge’s Susan, the self-proclaimed “Corporate Sellout”. Beveridge walks the line between Susan’s absolute joy of having a chance to perform again with the sadness of having stepped away from the performer’s life in the name of financial stability. And let’s not forget Sarah Fay – the extremely talented pianist (Referred to as “Mary”) who never once left the stage. All were well cast by David Anctil – and having been at callbacks, I can confirm that he made the right pairings among the extreme amount of talent he had to choose from.
[title of show] is a joyful break from reality. It runs at Brookfield Theatre of the Arts next Friday
and Saturday. The original show made it to Broadway against all odds; the message of hope remains strong in the Brookfield production. Take a trip over on Friday or Saturday – this production is a reminder of the hope that we cannot let go of at this point in time.
[title os show] is running this Friday and Saturday night, October 22nd and 23rd at 8pm., and Sunday the 24th at 2pm. The Brookfield Theater is located on Route 25 behind the Brookfield Library. For tickets to [title of Show] or any of their productions visit their on-line box office or BrookfieldTheater.org. Call the Brookfield Theater at 203-775-0023 for more information.