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Musical Fragments of Love

World Stage’s Song Cycle

May. 30, 2013
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This past weekend The World's Stage Theatre Company debuted a show that it will take to the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York next month. Waiting…a Song Cycle is a series of narrative songs with actors playing couples dealing with love from many perspectives.

At less than an hour and a half without intermission, the show briskly cascades through the aspirations and perspirations of people dealing with life out of synch with their passions. Writer/composers Bob Kelly and Kelly Pomeroy carve a show out of a population of couples, which are more than diverse enough to keep the show from seeming repetitious. Early on, we see a stressful morning with a long-married couple followed by an anxious young high school girl excited because she physically bumped into the boy she has a crush on in the hall. A date gets stood up. A woman is jilted at the altar. Somehow people make meaningful connections.

While the thematic connective tissue of tenuous romantic relationships is solidly established, the overall composition of Waiting feels more than a little nebulous as one song bleeds into the next. We get characters in tiny fragments flitting through the spotlight, but there isn't enough time with any one set for them to feel substantial. The World's Stage ensemble manages some heartfelt performances, though. Sally Staats is irrepressibly charming as the high school girl with the tremendous crush. Mara McGhee puts in a strong performance as someone suffering doubts about her marriage. Doug Clemons plays a man coming out of a near wedding and into something else entirely.

The World's Stage Theatre Company’s production of Waiting…a Song Cycle ran for one weekend only. World's Stage's next show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs runs May 31- June 2 at the Next Act Theatre.

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