Saturday, August 18, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

Elizabeth and Mommy have been away for a while, but don't lose hope...we plan to post more pics and stories again soon!

1 comment:

Robert said...

Gemini, the Musical

Albert Innaurato's 1977 Broadway comedy Gemini may not be the first one that comes to mind when thinking of plays that could be adapted into musicals, but then there was once a time when Broadway's greatest musical theatre talent thought Pygmalion could never sing. Unfortunately, Innaurato and composer/lyricist Charles Gilbert never get a handle on what is musical about their story of a South Philadelphia college boy visiting his blue-collar Italian dad and his colorful neighbors at a time when he's troubled by his declining interest in his girlfriend and his increasing fascination with her brother. While there are still some good laughs from the original material and some lively tunes and bright musical moments, the lightweight lyrics and questionable choices of song moments do little to propel the story, keeping the evening from being anywhere near the compelling musical about family and acceptance that it was most likely intended to be.

The original Gemini played on Broadway for a healthy four years and despite the fact that it's a very funny play, some credit for its long run must go to its enormously successful television commercial which featured the play's zany older characters and helped make the lines, "Am I weird? Nah!," "Take human bites!," and "I'm not hungry. I'll just pick" familiar catchphrases, even to non-theatre-goers. But the musical puts more focus on the triangle between young Francis (Dan Micciche) and his wealthier college friends Judith (Kirsten Bracken) and Randy (Ryan Reid). Although closets were still tightly shut in 1973, when the story takes place, and there was little in the way of support groups or information for a young man questioning his sexuality, the authors never effectively address the seriousness of the issues facing Francis. His homosexuality seems defined by his obsession with Maria Callas, which at least inspires a cute number where Judith tries to seduce him with a song that musically quotes Bizet's Carmen.

Joel Blum livens things up as Francis' gregarious father, Fran ("Dagos chase women. That's what we were born to do."), but his character isn't real enough to support the intended drama when he discovers his son's secret. As his feisty neighbor, Bunny ("I've been on my knees in front of a lot of men but not one of them been a priest."), Linda Hart squeezes whatever laughs are possible out of her superfluous and uninspired songs. Bethe Austin, as Fran's widowed girlfriend Lucille, gets the show's best number, a sweet ballad about "Good People," but songs about trolleys (sung by Jonathan Kay as Bunny's emotionally stunted son, Hershel), concrete ("Concrete/It keeps a backyard neat," sings Fran) and "The Hunk Who's Got The Funk" are among the many moments where Gemini's score stops any momentum the book has gathered.