Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hope For The New Musical

The Kid is a refreshing change from the lackluster new musicals on Broadway this season--it has a well-developed story, realistic characters, and a memorable original score. It's not without flaws, but it (along with other off-Broadway fare like Yank!, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Bloodsong of Love, and The Scottsboro Boys) is a reminder that the original non-jukebox musical still exists.

The Kid (music by Andy Monroe, lyrics by Jack Lechner, book by Michael Zam), based on Dan Savage's memoir, is playing at Theatre Row through May 29 (I'm hoping an extension is not out of the question). The always enjoyable Christopher Sieber plays Savage, who decides to adopt a baby with his boyfriend, Terry (Lucas Steele). The show traces the difficult adoption process. They are finally chosen by a homeless teenager, Melissa (Jeannine Frumess is heartbreaking in the role). Director Scott Elliott has a first-rate cast at his disposal. Steele and Sieber have believable chemistry and they both excel at the comedic and tender moments. Susan Blackwell is a standout in the supporting cast as a stern but caring adoption counselor.

Lately, I've been so used to seeing elaborate, realistic sets that the simplicity of the set by Derek McLane seemed jarring, but the few pieces of furniture are effectively used as are the windows to display animated backgrounds by Jeff Scher and videos of those seeking advice from Savage's column.

Though there is a lot of sex talk, The Kid is in many ways a traditional book musical. It is not overtly political and it presents a realistic relationship between the two men. The musical has been criticized for this approach, but it manages to be inoffensive without losing its edge. Dan and Terry's courtship involves meeting in club bathroom and going home together. When Terry gets sick and ends up staying a few days, they bond in the clever love song "Gore Vidal."

Related Reading: New Gay Theater Has More Love Than Politics

Photo credit: Monique Carboni

1 comment:

Kat said...

I've been really looking forward to the show and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Now I just need to figure out when to see it...