Friday, February 20, 2015

One Day Has A Case Of The Glee Problem

The program of One Day: The Musical includes statistics about problems that teenagers face. Approximately 2.7 million students are bullied each year. Suicide is the cause of about 4,400 deaths annually. Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors. The show uses journal entries of actual teenagers to get to the heart of the statistics, but it does not manage to humanize them as much as it should. Originally called Inappropriate, it was conceived and written by Michael Sottile and the late Lonnie McNeil and developed by the DeSisto School. Since its debut Off-Broadway in 1999, it's been revamped with new songs by Sotille and new problems that didn't exist then (cyberbullying, online dating).
Photo credit: Bob Degus
The characters don't have names (they are referred to in the program by the names of the actors), which makes it hard to get to know them, especially because the stories aren't fully developed. We get glimpses: one is bulimic, another was abused and uses drugs to escape her pain, and another has trouble dealing with the pressure to be perfect. They may sound cliché because we've seen them so often on TV and in film, but these are real issues deserving of attention. One of my biggest complaints about Glee is that it introduces stories just to check off each topic, and that's how I felt here. The format doesn't give each the time it requires.

There are moments of promise. When Brenna Bloom, Chase O'Donnell, Marco Ramos, Honey Ribar, Aaron Scheff, Austin Scott, Ben Shuman, Andy Spencer, Aliya Stuart, Nyseli Vega, and Charlotte Mary Wen are harmonizing, it's easy to hear why this pop score originally gained a cult following. Also, if you've never been to 3LD Art & Technology, this is a good excuse to visit. It fits well into the space, especially with Andrew Lazarow's video and projections on the walls and rock concert lighting by Jason Lyons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent photo!