It is said in some circles that sometimes lighting design is only noticed when it could have been better. This manufacture of Closer than ever could have, frankly, been better lit – the contrast between light and dark is sometimes unnecessarily stark, and it has not always been easy to make out people’s faces, which is rather counterproductive. objects from filmed productions, where online audiences should be able to see facial expressions in a way that is simply not possible from the back row of the dress circle.
Starting with fast paced music and lyrics, one wonders if, as the fast beats continue well into the first half, this would be sustained until the end. Not surprisingly this isn’t the case, but the structure of the series feels like it is running out of steam rather than slowing down for narrative or dramatic purposes. Each song is a story in itself, rather than part of a larger storyline. This type of format for a sung performance can and does work (Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World is one example), although here audiences are repeatedly treated or subjected to broadly similar stories. In ‘Life Story’, a woman laments the cards life has given her. Then in ‘Patterns‘ another woman does more or less the same thing, expressing regret and dissatisfaction.
Despite the tendency for flashy storytelling (music director Nick Barstow often has his work cut out for him, skillfully plays the piano with remarkable dexterity, and even has a few lyrics of his own singing), there is considerable soul-searching and even depression. in the show because a set. While the last two issues are suitably uplifting and poignant, they do not sufficiently lift the somber vibe created by most of the songs that came before them. There weren’t even the euphoric feelings of young love flowing (as far as I can remember), with the characters possibly aimed at people slightly older than the cast in this production.
There are friends who end up concluding that they really don’t have much, if anything, in common. Parents of dependent children have pressing work commitments and find themselves making frantic arrangements for childcare without notice. Problem after problem is posed in front of the public. Having said that, the voices of all the actors are simply masterful. However, they are given characters that are largely, in a nutshell, boring: no one seems to be doing anything abnormal, or taking drastic measures in an attempt to get out of dilemmas or difficult situations in which they. are found.
To be fair, some of them are relatable – take, for example, “Fathers of Fathers,” in which members of the middle-aged generation look after their now-aged parents, a reversal of their respective positions. decades ago. But there is a reason why one of the musical numbers is called “Another Wedding Song”: it should have been preceded by the word “just”. The tempo and the scenarios are more varied in the second half than in the first. But I would have preferred the full gamut of human emotions rather than over-emphasizing anguish and despair.
Chris Omaweng live review
Award-winning producers Ginger Quiff Media and BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for live theater, have teamed up to create an all-new digital revival of Outer Critics Circle Award-winning and Drama Desk Award-nominated music journal Maltby and Shire’s Closer Than Already. This original BroadwayHD production will feature X Factor winner Dalton Harris, alongside musical theater icons Lee Mead (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Wicked), Kerry Ellis (Wicked; We Will Rock You) and Grace Mouat ( Six; & Juliet). The film will be available to stream worldwide in September, exclusively through BroadwayHD.
Available exclusively on BroadwayHD from September 23, 2021
Show that Maltby & Shire is closer than ever
Music by David Shire
By Richard Maltby Jr.
Originally directed for the stage by Richard Maltby Jr.
Originally co-directed by Steven Scott Smith
Originally Produced Off-Broadway by Janet Brenner, Michael Gill and Daryl Roth
Music director and director Stacey Haynes
Co-Director Richard Maltby Jr.
Music Director Nick Barstow
Production designer Andrew Exeter
Costume designer Natalia Alverez
Assistant Director Matt Byham
Actors Kerry Ellis, Dalton Harris, Lee Mead, Grace Mouat
Producers Thomas Hopkins and Michael Quinn for Ginger Quiff Media and
Stewart F. Lane, Bonnie Comley and Gio Messale for
Access Subscribe to BroadwayHD for $ 8.99 per month or $ 99.99 per year.
(The service currently offers a 7-day free trial)
Twitter @Gingerqmedia, @BroadwayHD
Instagram @Gingerquiffmedia, @BroadwayHD