“Searching for Romeo” at the New York Musical Theatre Festival at The PTC Performance Space (Closed on Sunday July 13, 2014)

July 12, 2014 | NY Musical Theatre | Tags:
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Brian Sutton
Directed by Laura Josepher
Reviewed by Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited

“Searching for Romeo,” currently being presented as part of NYMF at the PTC Performance Space, is a pleasant parody. This new musical is entertaining and clever, however not without fault, offering nothing innovative as far as concept, theme or musical development. It would be unfair to critique the cast and their devoted effort, since the production was afflicted with an unfortunate illness of their leading male; however, in true show business fashion the performance was rescued by the fearless assistant to the Director, standing in with script in hand and vocally prepared. What emerged throughout was the bonding and eloquent behavior of the ensemble to support and contribute to the effort put forth by their comrade. Bravo!

As mentioned the concept is nothing new or groundbreaking and the use of innuendo and parody becomes almost tiring, culminating with a replication of the last scene in “West Side Story.” The music is very repetitive with hardly any diversity, (mostly relying on 50’s and 60’s pop style). Lyrics are witty and clever but provide no character exposition. Vocal arrangements need more interest and harmony with less repetition. All these factors contribute to the production losing its charm, motivation and coherency.

So for those less discerning theater goers this could be a great entertaining outing, watching a talented cast with fine vocal prowess performing a new work that with some diligent attention will hopefully have a future. Although a solid structure is in place, reshaping and rediscovery could possibly be in order to bring this project to the next level.