Theater Info for Maryland

Fletcher Music School PAUL! a musical

By • Aug 4th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
PAUL! a musical
Fletcher Music School
Fletcher Music School, White Marsh, MD
Closed July 31st
1:45 with intermission
$15/$10 in advance
Reviewed July 30th, 2011

There is nothing scarier than walking in to see an original work, especially in an unconventional theatre venue. Original works are often a reminder that everyone thinks that they can write a play. Original works also tend to try way too hard to make a point, to have a message, and to say something profound that they completely miss the art of storytelling. They forget to create characters and a story. They don’t recognize that it is only when the audience looses itself in the created world that they might become invested enough to learn some of important things to the playwright that are embedded within. Michael Perrie Jr. and PAUL! are the absolutely refreshing exception. PAUL! just tells a great story with great characters and songs that are fun and funny and also heartfelt. Certainly, through the story of Paul and Beth, the audience learns a lot about what is important to Perrie and what he hopes others will see and learn but not because he tries too hard to pound a point home. The character Paul is a believable and real guy, who just happens to wake up in a world that is suddenly a musical revolving around him. It is a farce of sorts, but that is not the focus. It does have a message, but that is not the focus. It does have a few contrived conventions, but those are not the focus. The focus is Paul, and PAUL! is just darn likeable.

The production value itself was a little more workshop than full production, but it showed the even more amazing potential this show would have with higher-budget technical additions. However, the blocking and choreography even in such a small space was extremely effective and engaging.

The cast was really delightful. They all were just bubbling over with energy and love for the show. The icing on the cake was that most of them were also very talented. Todd Zachwieja (Paul) was an extremely dynamic leading man. He had a beautiful voice, amazing charisma, excellent comedic timing, and extremely expressive facial expressions. Caitlin Joseph (Beth) was strong and quirky and had a great mezzo belt. Brandon Pfeltz (Dr. Leibewitz) was just hysterical. Jenna Rossman, Tim Robinson, Shannon Graham, and Lyndsay Smith made for an extremely versatile ensemble and brought interesting characterizations to a ton of small roles. They also all had chances to show off their very strong voices. Just the four of them had the power and energy of a large ensemble. James “Doc” Fletcher (Mr. E) was not quite as dynamic as the younger cast members. At times, he was a little hard to understand, which made a bit of the back story and explanation a little confusing.

This is a show to see. This is, or at least should be, a show that is going places. The next time that PAUL! is produced, everyone should find a way to see this excellently written, powerful, and just fun show.

Writer’s Note

When I first started PAUL!, I never thought that it would be produced twice in one years time. First, at Towson University, and now here at the Fletcher Studio Theatre (which has never done a play, let alone a new musical) before. I’m flattered by the hard work and love that every cast member, and crew member has put into my piece, especially Lacy Reily, without whom – this really wouldn’t have come together. Thank you for coming, sincerely, and enjoy the show!

Directors Note

In theatre these days, new plays are often not produced, mostly because people are worried they won’t be a “hit” or make money. Which is why I’m so proud to have directed the second performance of PAUL!. This unique piece offers a quirky comedic commentary on the culture of musical theatre as well as why we as an audience love it. Who wouldn’t want songs and dance numbers to revolve around their life? Please enjoy the show, as the cast of PAUL! Immerses you in the answer to that very question. I’d like to say a special thanks to, my family for their support, my wonderful cast and crew for their dedication, and of course, Mike Perrie Jr. without whom there would be no PAUL!

Photo Gallery

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Photos by Michael Perrie Jr.


  • Paul: Todd Zachwieja
  • Beth: Caitlin Joseph
  • Mr. E: James “Doc” Fletcher
  • Dr. Leibewitz: Brandon Pfeltz
  • Boss/Richardette: Jenna Rossman
  • Mr. Roberts/Cabbie: Tim Robinson
  • Alex/Subway Op/Salesman: Shannon Graham
  • Hobo/Salesman: Lyndsay Smith

Production Staff

  • Director/Choreographer: Lacy Reily
  • Musical Director: Michael Perrie Jr.
  • Stage Manager: Caitlin I. Quinn
  • Production Manager/Props/Egg: C. Justin Stockton
  • Lighting Designer: Cara Antico
  • Sound Engineer: Michael Schlothauer
  • Lobby Display/Dramaturg: Janice Rattigan
  • Poster Design: Suzanne Coley
  • FMS Directors: Aston/Caryl Fletcher

Disclaimer: ShowBizRadio was provided two complimentary media tickets for this review.

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has been involved in theatre in the state of Maryland and DC for most of her life. She has acted, directed, choreographed, stage managed, and held a million other odd jobs. She has a B.S. in English from Towson University, and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree to become a Reading Specialist. She is a Maryland State Certified English, Theatre, Elementary, and Mathematics Educator. After teaching English and Drama for many years, she now teaches 6th grade Language Arts at Magnolia Middle School in Harford County, Maryland. She wrote the curriculum currently used in Prince George’s County Public Schools for Drama I and Drama II. She now writes and directs plays and musicals for use in church.

2 Responses »

  1. Michael Perrie Jr (Grandson), saw the show twice and loved every minute of it. You should be so proud of what you have done. Please keep up the great work. This is a show that every one would enjoy. Lacey and the cast also should be very proud, they did a wonderful job.

  2. Fantastic performances for both stagings of Paul the Musical! I can’t wait to see it again! Bravo!