Monday, March 31, 2008

A Joyless Affair

Tonight I went to see A Catered Affair on Broadway. I don't know what it is... maybe In The Heights has ruined me for other musicals? Or maybe this one is just... not that outstanding. The acting was strong and the book was well-written, but the music? Yeesh.

Here's the premise. A girl, who's brother recently died fighting in a war in the 50's, decides she wants to quickly marry her boyfriend in a no-fuss civil ceremony and move on with her life, but her family eventually convinces her to let them throw her a huge wedding, against the girl's better judgment. I would like to say hilarity ensues. It does not.

No one in this play is over the death of the boy who went off to war. Neither is the composer. No one barely cracks a smile throughout the whole musical. The music offers very little variety and never transcends the gloom. Also, most of the songs are spoke-sung to the point where you wonder why there is music at all.

I liked several of the performances a lot. Faith Prince and Tom Wopat are very compelling as the bride's parents. Harvey Fierstein is always great to watch and this is no exception. But these people are all theater PROS, they could read you the phone book on stage and make it compelling. But given the choice I'd rather hear them perform something better than the phone book. Does this material really need to be a musical, and is this really the best type of music for it? Give me something with a little pep! If you're out of Ibsen or Beckett, don't turn the phone book into a musical. Look around for a People magazine, at least!

I will be interested to see the reviews when they come out. Maybe they will love it and it will seem like i have no idea what I'm talking about. There's talent and professionalism here, but I thought the songs really failed. I am seeing Cry Baby this weekend. Word on the street is that it is not good. I'm hoping it's a beautiful disaster. If it's gonna be bad at least let it be gawdy over the top bad. That's the broadway i know!

No comments: