Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: New Jersey

Also see Bob's review of Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Tyler Maynard, Susan Mosher, Jesse Vargas, Lauren Kennedy and Seth Rudetsky

For those of us who are very fond of the highly original, intensely personal, hilarious and moving

For those new to

The inclusion of

However, by the time that

It is true that musical theatre buffs will enjoy

Tyler Maynard is totally delightful as the totally out there Hunter Bell. In keeping with the authors' determination to have

It is no wonder that Seth Rudetsky, a renaissance man in New York musical theatre (conductor, musician, actor, artistic producer) is delightful as composer/lyricist Jeff Bowen, whose refusal to compromise inspires his collaborators. I found myself thinking that Rudetsky himself was the actual composer/lyricist of the show. The identification of Rudetsky with his role is that complete.

Lauren Kennedy as Heidi Blickenstaff has to weigh her obligations to her

The music is provided by musical director Jesse Vargas (as Larry) whose excellent piano accompaniment is all that

Director Matt Lenz has staged at a lively pace, capturing the freshness, passion and humor which are the hallmarks of this musical. The projections employed offer enhancement, although the inspirational and moving "Die, Vampire, Die is diminished under the weight of the digital projections of swarms of flying bats. It reminds us of how wise Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell were to stick to their guns in defending their belief that four chairs and a piano should remain the centerpieces of even a Broadway

The casual throwaway style of the writing cleverly masks the careful craft of the book, music and lyrics. The more that one is exposed to Jeff Bowen's lively and melodious score, the more one realizes how skillful it is.

Freshly cast productions of

Jeff.....................Seth Rudetsky
Hunter................Tyler Maynard
Susan.................Susan Mosher
Heidi...............Lauren Kennedy
Larry...................Jesse Vargas

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Be sure to Check the current schedule for theatre in New Jersey

- Bob Rendell