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Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre Title of Show (clean version)

By • Jul 2nd, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Title of Show (clean version)
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, Annapolis, MD
Through July 20th
95 minutes without intermission
$20 (plus fees)
Reviewed June 29th, 2013

As the opening scene makes it clear, there is really nothing fresh and new in musical theatre on the great white way. Either musicals from movies, or musicals from books, or even musicals that came from movies that came from books. So … from the get-go because of its unique heading Title of Show does offer something original, fresh and semi unique. The plot is quite simple: Title of Show is about two guys who are writing an original musical about two guys who are writing an original musical. So … yes a little “Seinfeldish” but still well-conceived and written.

Jeff (Thomas Peter) and Hunter (Christopher Overly) are young and aspiring writer and composer, taking a leap of faith by attempting to write an all original musical for a New York theatre festival in just three weeks. Hunter the writer, whose normal daily routine is watching reality TV marathons, is laid back, a little too laid back for the liking of Jeff the neurotic composer, whose day job is web design and who is severely obsessed with Wonder Woman. But nonetheless the idea of writing something new and fresh ignites a fire under them and with the help of their friends, a Broadway chorus girl Heidi (Anastasia Sophia Herne) and Susan (Angela Sullivan), a dramatic actress who is slowly being consumed by her full-time regular job, and Mary (Laura Brady), a figment of our imagination/pianist/muse and a voice of reason, who practically begs to be allowed to speak, they set of on a journey that explores the ups and downs the trials and tribulations of art, friendship and life.

The ninety minute plus production, directed by Rachael Murray (Editor’s note: Rachael Murray was a reviewer for ShowBizRadio from 2011 to 2012), keeps true to the style and plot of the show. With a simple broken brick wall set, minimalistic props, simple costumes and very creative multimedia and light effects the production is young, fresh, creative and engaging. Unfortunately, and it saddens me to say, the two leading men are not remotely up to par for the demanding vocals and the musical range that the score calls for. Peter puts in great effort and complements his Jeff with perfect awkwardness and gentle loving humor, however vocally Peter struggles for most of the show. The score is energetic and fast-paced and is mostly written for two- to four-part harmony. Overly consistently struggled to stay on pitch going into high ungainly falsetto, attempting to harmonize with Peter which failed miserably. Overly’s acting was also one note, playing everything as an annoyed female impersonator. On the bright side Sullivan and Herne are both equipped with stellar vocals, style, elegance, and great comic timing bring life to the show. Sullivan is especially a standout with a very touching and yet funny interpretation of human struggle, devotion, and staying true to one self. Herne and Sullivan make “What Kind of Girl is She” an absolute highlight of the evening.

So if you’re looking for something fresh and light, and especially if you enjoy musical theatre, its history and its inside jokes, this show is definitely worth seeing. However if you’re looking for great performances across the board and a full cast that compliments each other and works as one, you have to keep looking.

Cast

  • Mary: Laura Brady
  • Hunter: Christopher Overly
  • Jeff: Thomas Peter
  • Heidi: Anastasia Sophia Herne
  • Susan: Angela Sullivan

Production Staff

  • Director: Rachael Murray
  • Music Director: Laura Brady
  • Stage Manager: Chelsea Adams-Cook
  • Asst. Stage Manager: Meaghan Spry
  • Dramaturge: Thomas Peter
  • Technical Director: Matt Mitchell
  • Asst Technical Directors/Sound Engineer: Dan Caughran, Scott McCormick
  • Lead Technician: Dan Snyder
  • Lighting Designer: Alex Doan
  • Costumer: Nikki Gerbasi
  • Set Designers: Rachel Murray, Matt Mitchell
  • Set Construction: Matt Mitchell, Tom Cagle
  • Set Artist/Painter: Lily Cumberpatch
  • Marquee and Program Cover: Jim Gallagher
  • Photography: Rachel Parker
  • Promo Videos: Catherine Thomas
  • Board Liaison: Nikki Gerbasi
  • Program: Carolyn Kirby

Disclaimer: Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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worked for twenty years as a professional actor and director, as well as worked a myriad of other theatrical production roles at various levels. In recent years, he served as Artistic Director/President of STROyKA Theatre in Washington, DC. Roman privately teaches acting, voice, and piano and serves as a consultant to various groups and schools. His primary role is stay-at-home dad and full-time college student. He also directs the Voices Unlimited Youth Choir at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD.

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