Kevin T. Baldwin
“Possibly we won’t be okay however perhaps we’re robust and we’ll attempt anyway.”
Studio Theater Worcester receives a optimistic analysis for its staging of the highly effective musical, “Subsequent to Regular,” persevering with a stable model established by the group’s mission assertion to supply the Worcester neighborhood productions of “high-quality theatrical works.”
The musical, with guide and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, has been lauded as a “darkish,” miserable “and even an” angsty “musical.
It’s none of these issues (though “angsty” does deserve some consideration).
It’s extra an unambiguous musical – a blatant, trustworthy depiction of a troubled household attempting to work its means out of a tangled net of dysfunction, one woven by a nasty combination of psychological sickness, distress and drugs.
Additionally, if one wished to attempt to put a visual blueprint of a troubled thoughts on stage, it will in all probability look loads just like the set of “Subsequent to Regular.” You are feeling like you’re actually wanting on the thoughts of an unsettled particular person or no less than how they see their life on a troubled day by troubled day foundation.
Meet the Goodmans: Dan and Diana (portrayed by Brandon Lee and Barbara Kessler) and their teenage daughter, Natalie (Cassie Donegan).
Proper off the bat, it must be emphasised that every one three actors give considerate, delicate portrayals of their characters who take care of Diana’s ongoing psychological well being disaster – a disaster related to a bipolar analysis and manifesting itself within the human type of the couple’s first son, Gabe (Michael Skrzek).
However in Yorkey’s story, the impression the character of ghostly Gabe provides is one which spans from departed devoted son to devious demon and each cliché in between.
So, is Gabe malevolent spirit or merely the results of overmedicating a malignant situation?
That’s the query the musical appears to need to dance round and definitely does because the present progresses.
Brandon Lee provides an astute portrayal of paternal Dan, attempting desperately to maintain his household collectively. But the present tends to make him seem extra just like the cruise ship director of the Titanic attempting to maintain all people calm lengthy after the iceberg hit and the dance band drowned.
Kessler and Donegan each are merely (pardon the pun) “electrifying” as mom and daughter and nail every musical second. Donegan, particularly, has a pure comedic aptitude for the character of Natalie and that often tends to go lacking in different portrayals.
Skrzek is totally riveting as Gabe and at any time when he exits the stage, for lengthy moments at a time, the anticipation for his impending “return” is fierce. His rendition of the tune “I am Alive” is very fascinating.
With all its deserves, “Subsequent to Regular” is just not a present that can enchantment to everybody. It isn’t a “really feel good” musical and most of the sub-plots contained within the present by no means absolutely get resolved.
Nonetheless, that is not the intent, both. The intention is to maintain the dialogue ongoing lengthy after you allow the theater – and that is the place the present and the STW manufacturing in the end succeed.
Within the present’s program, there are a minimum of seven pages dedicated to the topic of bipolar dysfunction, psychological well being statistics, vital terminology explanations and priceless medical sources for anybody who would possibly require them.
The efforts show that that is one space theater that, no less than for the aim of the vital medical subject material contained inside “Subsequent to Regular,” acknowledges a excessive diploma of social duty.
John Wayland Somers’ finely tuned stage route for “Subsequent to Regular” is enhanced by a phenomenally inventive set by Technical Designer David N. Farreh showing to work nearly in good unison.
The blocking decisions by Somers assist drive the present, transferring fluidly from scene to scene, second to second, from starting to finish. Any down time for set re-dressing was minimal.
Including to the present’s success musically are the efforts by Music Director Kris Layton and the “Subsequent to Regular Band.”
There was one part of Farreh’s stage (higher stage, stage proper) which had a noticeable illuminating useless spot. Anybody singing in that one spot was in close to complete darkness.
Additionally, the band had a bent to overpower among the particular person performers and, at first of Act Two with the tune “Want I Have been Right here,” all however drowned out all of the actors singing on stage.
“Subsequent to Regular” is intense, visceral musical leisure that succeeds in partaking, enlightening, entertaining and informing all who’re lucky sufficient to attend.
Roughly two hours with one intermission
Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theater Critics Affiliation
‘Subsequent to Regular’