Sunday, October 11, 2009

Don't Judge a NYMF Show By Its Logo

Street Lights opens at NYMF on Tuesday, October 13, at American Theatre of Actors (Chernuchin). Truth be told, this wasn't on my radar when I first looked through the NYMF selections. The logo didn't grab me and the plot description, about a group of inner city teenagers trying to save their high school music program, could be inspirational, but that kind of story can be very easy to get wrong if it becomes a cliche. After listening to the concept recording, I have high hopes for the musical and expect it to be one of the highlights of the festival. I'll find out for sure when I see it on Sunday.

Joe Drymala's score mixes rap, hip hop, pop, and gospel. I can't help but be reminded of In The Heights in the way it captures the sound of a culture with a modern sensibility that appeals across generations. Particular highlights are the gripping "Someday," which incorporates the civil rights song "We Shall Overcome," the catchy "Georgetown," and "Don't Wanna Be Tied Up," a sexy number which could be on the hip hop charts, but is also in the musical theater tradition of two people who deny their attraction for each other.

To hear the music for yourself and for ticket information click here. The CD will be available for purchase beginning October 13.

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