Saturday, October 03, 2009

NYMF: The Cure

With the current vampire trend in films, books, and television, now is an opportune time to bring a vampire rock musical to the New York Musical Festival (NYMF). The Cure (nothing to do with the band of the same name), written by Mark Weiser and directed by Elizabeth Lucas, is a new take on the vampire fable, playing through October 11 at the American Theatre of Actors (Chernuchin).

The vampires of The Cure are not the chaste Edward Cullen types, as apparent from the chains that make up the set. The story centers around Gray (Zac Resnick), a dying young man who writes a party column. He and his friend Alex (Michael Buchanan) find their way to a vampire coven after receiving a mysterious invitation. There they find love (or at least lust)--Gray with Unique (Jen Sese) and Alex with Sasha (Kyle Harris, familiar to those who have seen the viral video Web Site Story). Though the story seems simple enough, it was often hard to follow. Part of this could be that the band occasionally drowned out the words (on the night I attended, there were several sound problems).

There are interesting themes presented--the idea of eternal life as a disease as well as a cure--and Weiser does a good job of setting the scene--the homeless drug addicts are the most affected by the presence of vampires--but none of the stories are given ample time to develop. The ending leaves plenty of loose ends, which would have been more frustrating had I cared about the characters.

The able cast do the best they can with the material, especially in song. Luckily, the story is secondary to the music, and the rock/pop score is enough to have a good time, even if you are not emotionally invested in the story. In particular, Buchanan and Harris allow you to fill in the blanks of their pasts in their duet, "Til Now." They are two to watch. Another highlight is Buchanan's power ballad "Who I Am" (which he sings with another strong performer, Manu Narayan). Each song stands on its own, and each member of the cast delivers.

If the show is to have a life after NYMF, it would benefit from going one of two ways--the stories could be fleshed out more or it could become a song cycle with the dialogue cut out completely. Vampire aficionados have three more chances to catch the musical at NYMF (October 6, 10, and 11). Click here for tickets and more information.

For more on NYMF, read this article I wrote for TDF.

1 comment:

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Hello LB!

Just wanted to say that it was nice to meet you at the recent blogger event. Would have sent an e-mail but it wasn't included on the card you provided me.

Now that your blog is on my radar, I've included a link to it on my blogroll.

Look forward to seeing you around the blogosphere!