Sunday / George missed my mark.
Posted by: vladimir 10:14 am EDT 04/19/17

Last night's show had me in tears from the first 16 bars. Then, slowly, the tears dried up.

This is a terrific production…… for a regional theatre. I'll start with the raison d'être - Jake G. He's such a committed and terrific actor, with a deep well of understanding of each of Sondheim's lyrics. But his voice is limited. There are zero soaring notes in Jake's range and this score demands sky-high soaring in a few, requisite places (Finishing Hat, Move On, etc.) It's a sacrifice that he can't produce when needed. I appreciate seeing a marvelous actor on a stage. So give him a thrilling play, and give our home-grown Broadway bari-tenors a shot to sail.

Annaleigh Ashford is new to me. She has a wonderful presence and comic timing, and her voice is appropriate. My only grumble would be a technical one - please use "straight-toning-into-vibrato" sparingly in this score. It feels artificial.

Last few gripes - why is there 1/2 of an orchestra? I appreciate any and all work the orchestrator had to accomplish to make this "pit" sound full, but it was a futile endeavor quite often. Where's a set? A casually hanging scrim does not encapsulate the life of the piece. (A spectacular chromolume, for a few minutes in Act II, being the only exception.) Again, impressive regional theatre production.

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