MUSICAL THEATRE, CAPE TOWN: Ordinary Days, Baxter Theatre Flipside May 21 to 25, 2019
Ordinary Days: review
Music and lyrics: Adam Gwon (American composer)
Director: Byron Bure
Performers: Kirsten Murphy Rossiter, Kenneth Meyer, Josie Piers and Logan Timbre.
Piano accompaniment: Kevin Kim.
Producer: Square Pegged Productions
A delight! Loved Ordinary Days. This musical, presented as a song cycle, tracks the lives of four young people living in New York.
Ordinary Days is about navigating the extraordinary in the ordinary trajectory of life. The lyrics are clever and are juxtaposed with a melodic score. There is a surprise twist in the narrative which flips what you think is an “ordinary” urban tale into an elegiac and tender story of love. Clever design and lighting ignites the Flipside space.
The diction is clear and that is essential in a musical which is sung-through. The story is narrated through the songs. If you cannot hear the words, you will not get the story. Byron Bure has his cast enunciating every word and holding the notes. It takes artists with trained voices to pull this together and this cast has the vocal and acting smarts. Kenneth Meyer and Logan Timbre have just come back from the international tour of Matilda- The Musical. This is their break-time and then they are off again on the next leg of the tour. Kirsten Murphy Rossiter is lovely to watch. Her credits include West Side Story, Jersey Boys and Grease. I am not familiar with Josie Piers. I was bowled over by her performance – terrific characterisation, voice and stage presence. I see that her credits include We Will Rock You and Hairspray. I hope to see more of her in other musicals. Piers is a Waterfront Theatre School graduate, as are Byron Bure, and Kirsten Murphy Rossiter. The trio started Square Pegged productions in November last year (2018). Looking forward to other shows from this company.
Piano accompaniment in Ordinary Days is by Kevin Kim – a recent garduate of the South African College of Music at UCT. His rapport with the cast is obvious. They watch him. He watches them. They cue each other in and that adds depth to the cycle of songs which map out the story of these four city people. Impressive direction by Byron Bure: stylish, urban musical theatre which taps into our need to connect and let go of the ties that bind us to the past.
*A note about Adam Gwon- American composer and lyricist – who attended the prestigious New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has won awards for his work – including the Fred Ebb Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Kleban Award, and the Frederick Loewe Award.
*Ordinary Days is on at The Baxter Flipside from May 21 to 25, at 8pm and a 4pm matinee on May 25 May. Tickets are R120 (Tuesday, Wednesday and the matinee) and R150 (Thursday to Saturday).
Booking at Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at www.webtickets.co.za or from selected Pick n Pay stores.
Production pics on this post: Daniel Rutland Manners. Social pics by TheCapeRobyn