Saturday, April 14, 2012

Now. Here. This. **

(Please click on the title to see the full review.)
The appealing quartet (Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff & Jeff Bowen) whose [title of show] was a big hit at the Vineyard Theatre a few years ago are back with a new show. I wish I could say that lightning struck twice in the same place. Alas, what seemed fresh and cute the first time around seemed to me stale and trite this time out. The book puzzlingly tries to link Merton's philosophy of the importance of staying in the present moment to the group's excursion to the Museum of Natural History, where each recalls moments from his or her past. Though I was unimpressed by a lab production last year, I was hopeful that further work might improve the show. The production values are now first-rate, with an excellent projection design by Richard DiBella. Michael Berresse's smooth direction and clever choreography cannot hide the thinness of the material by Bell & Blackwell or the mediocrity of Bowen's music. I would be remiss not to report that the vast majority of the audience looked under 30 and appeared to be having a wonderful time. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes without intermission.

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