By: Isa Goldberg
October 26, 2018: Viewing the macrocosm from the microcosm is the raison d’etre of Off Broadway, because seeing the big picture in a small space causes us to see things from a different perspective. In fact, that is the beauty of the Keen Theater’s new musical, Ordinary Days, Off Broadway on Theatre Row.
While the show’s creator, Adam Gwon is attributed with writing the music and lyrics, the show makes no claims to having a librettist. Be that as it may, it definitely has a narrative – four narratives in fact, each belonging to one of the four characters who, through this 90-minute sung through musical meet, collide, converge, and discover the other.
That the characters appear so utterly quotidian, on one hand and so familiar on the other, speaks to the play’s immeasurable charm. As the musical’s narrator and guide, Warren (Kyle Sherman) is an aspiring artist, and incurable optimist. And Deb (Sarah Lynn Marion), the cynical woman who ignores his efforts to connect, is all tied up in graduate school, which doesn’t feel so fulfilling after all. Jason (Marc DelaCruz), and Claire (Whitney Bashor), an older, thirtysomething couple, delve sensitively into the nuances of relationship.
The Frank Gehry-inspired set designed by Steven Kemp coops the style of the ice cube block buildings. Large geometric cubes designating the impenetrable skyscrapers of urban life yield to narrow canals, through which the actors move.
In a sung through musical, the voices tell the story, and the four actors in this production make that an especially affecting experience simply because they sound truthful and honest. While I’m partial to the broad open sound of Sarah Lynn Marion’s Deb, Whitney Bashor, as the woman who experiences both the loss of love, and it’s return, is beautiful to listen to. And Marc DelaCruz as the man who pursues her brings a dynamic sensibility to his story, and his songs. Most interesting, however, is Kyle Sherman, the young man who stirs the tale into action sings so simply that it’s like he’s just talking to his own rhythm.
It’s an understated, beautifully sung, and moving story about connecting with another person.
Ordinary Days ****
Clurman Theatre in Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
OCTOBER 2ND – NOVEMBER 17TH, 2018
Tues–Thurs at 7 PM, Fri at 8 PM, Sat at 2 PM & 8 PM, Sun at 3 PM.
Additional matinees on Weds 11/7 and 11/14 at 2pm.
Photography: Carol Rosegg