The Cherry Lane Theatre presents Celeste Makoff's new musical set in a dystopian future where tens of millions of people get only three minutes of sunlight a day. More…
This small amount of light is controlled by a fascist dictator, Marcus Pressi; a master of propaganda and control by censorship. After discovering that 'someone in the sky hides the light away,' Rian, an illegal violin maker, leaves her home and family to try to set things right. With courage, she disguises herself as the enemy in an attempt to reveal freedom to those who don't even know it exists. Her violin playing expresses our capacity as humans to desire truth and the divine power of communication through music.
"There is a lot of potential in the story written...The music has beautiful harmonies but don’t give off the jukebox music sound that modern shows have...The show has many highlights that the entire cast and crew should be very proud of but I would like to see them explore more of the pivotal moments in the story...The production left me wanting to know more about these characters and their connections with each other because they are compelling, well written and acted." Full Review
"More fairy tale than modern dystopian nightmare...The songs, in a mix of sophisticated pop-storytelling styles, display a gift for melody that’s not always matched by the lyrics, which are sometimes artful but sometimes prosaic. Gitter at her best is one with this music, a charismatic lead carrying the show with well-tempered skill and emotion…Despite its flaws, the production has the imaginative power to draw us into its world, then send us out with songs in our hearts." Full Review
"Celeste Mankoff’s 'Crashlight' suffers the curse of most modern-day musicals: it has a gorgeous, haunting score, but the words have very little substance...Details of the plot aren’t essential, because you can see every twist coming from miles away, and while the performers are quite good, the casting would have been better served by featuring some older actors in the ensemble." Full Review
"There is a compelling mythic quality to the way the central story unfolds simply and slowly...The key performances help to carry everything along in a fable-like way. But there also are a lot of extraneous plot turns, and too much of the production is overwrought, distracting, and confusing, demanding a great deal of our attention in order to follow the storyline. 'Crashlight' is in need of both trimming and clarification...There is certainly enough there to make it worth the continued effort." Full Review
"So inept that the recurring age-old mental question while watching it is, 'What were they thinking?'...Ms. Makoff has concocted a generally incoherent scenario with characters and situations out of 'The Hunger Games' and the works of Ray Bradbury. Makoff’s direction is stolidly presentational...Makoff’s undistinguished score aspires to the rousing bombast of 'Les Misérables' and the steely wit of 'Evita'...The cast's uniformly limited vocal abilities are problematic as this is a musical." Full Review
See it if You're into strong heroines a la Katniss Everdeen, like dystopian sagas, enjoy works in progress, like musical allegories & dark environment
Don't see it if You like your music varied and not incessantly glum, you don't appreciate dancers coming on for no reason or an initially confusing book
See it if you like original works by a new generation of artists, and you don't mind plot holes.
Don't see it if you're not into school plays. This isn't one, but it feels like it. You can tell the artists give it their all, but it just misses the mark.
See it if I just love these smaller plays and experimental works. This was a unique show I enjoyed the music was interesting & the story fascinating
Don't see it if You can't see/suspend your belief for a dystopian theme play out on a stage in a semi musical format.
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