Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Also see Susan's review of Judgment at Nuremberg
Warren (Samuel Edgerly) is helping a jailed guerrilla artist friend by housesitting, taking care of the friend's cat, and pleading his friend's cause by writing pithy sayings on sheets of paper and handing them out to passersby. Deb (Erin Weaver) is throwing her entire life into working on her master's thesis. They "meet cute," but it isn't a predictable relationship. Jason (Will Gartshore) moves in with Claire (Janine DiVita), who cares about him but can't quite take the step toward admitting that she loves him.
Gwon is still relatively young, so some of his musical influences are rather obvious to musical theater fans, but he knows his way around a melody and writes incisive lyrics that can sum up a character in a few well-chosen lines. Many hard-working people in the audience will relate to Deb's solo "Calm," about the stresses of getting through the day, while easygoing Warren and frustrated Jason inspire empathy. Most powerful of all is Claire's climactic solo "I'll Be There," which fuses the pain of an individual with the impact of a city-wide crisis.
In his Round House debut, director Matthew Gardinerbest known for his extensive credits at Signature Theatrecreates a believable world out of his four talented performers. Edgerly, Weaver, Gartshore and DiVita skillfully convey their characters through their strong, true voices, well supported by musical director and onstage pianist William Yanesh.
Misha Kachman's scenic design breaks up the broad Round House stage in modular fashion, creating several apartments and a coffee shop out of a few pieces of furniture, a balcony, and some well-chosen props. A row of illuminated newspaper vending boxes adds to the sense of a busy street in a crowded city.
Round House Theatre