Encores! Off-Center presents this wry and whimsical docu-musical from the Civilians, featuring an energetic score by Michael Friedman. A very personal account of how we deal with loss in our lives. More…
In 2003, New York City theater troupe The Civilians interviewed real people about the physical objects they’d lost—keys, a sapphire ring, a Gucci pump. 'Gone Missing' is the musical that emerged from their investigation.
This special engagement honors the work of composer and Off-Center Artistic Director Michael Friedman, whose life was tragically cut short last summer.
"An accidental and indispensable elegy...The setting is minimal, the costumes pleasantly generic, Karla Puno Garcia’s choreography decidedly low profile and Mr. Schmoll’s direction affectionate and barely there...I felt a happy-sad nostalgia, not only for the composer himself but also for the theater scene that birthed him...'Gone Missing,' though delightful, is a little thin...So it’s Friedman’s too-short life that fleshes out 'Gone Missing,' deepens it and gives it context." Full Review
“A perfect choice for the Encores! There’s no plot, it’s a series of admissions, told directly to the audience with no attempt to be anywhere specific...Schmoll did an excellent job of moving the performers around the stage...Garcia’s choreography was terrific – clever and engaging...Pitch perfect and really enhanced the songs. At several points the choreography got laughs of its own...Cast did a wonderful job of creating diverse, specific characters with no more than their voices and bodies.” Full Review
“Friedman’s songs for ‘Gone Missing’ are charming in the extreme, tuneful and buoyant, from the jaunty opening and title number to a sprightly Burt Bacharach pastiche...At times howlingly funny...Part of what made Gone Missing such a delight was its versatile cast of six...Only minor disappointment in the cast was Taylor Mac, who seemed to be in a totally different world.” Full Review
"An oddball 2001 revue laced with observational humor, peppy energy and shades of sadness...The Off-Center production of 'Gone Missing' serves as an opportunity to reflect upon Friedman’s passing. The meditative final song, 'Stars,' contains the line 'So when I leave you, you’ll know, I’m just a shadow, an echo. You never possessed me. Never possessed me.' When the song was performed at Wednesday night’s performance, one could hear a few audience members weeping." Full Review
"A quirky, mostly droll, occasionally touching, 75-minute docu-musical...Back then, I characterized the show as an 'enjoyable collage' and 'thoughtful entertainment.' So it remains today in the fleet concert staging by Ken Rus Schmoll that also features witty synchronized moves in Karla Puno Garcia’s choreography...Expertly backed by a small onstage band under Fenwick’s direction...these top-notch actors manage to conjure up a sense of intimacy within City Center’s cavernous auditorium." Full Review
"It was a treat to revisit 'Gone Missing'...The wacky stories are amusing, but the ones that are the most affecting are also the simplest...The songs are brief—oh, too brief!—but charming and catchy as heck, and surprisingly deep." Full Review
"The cast, comprised of such top theater talent as Taylor Mac and Susan Blackwell, make the most of Friedman’s eclectic tunes and witty lyrics...It’s meant to feel informal and fun, and mostly manages to achieve this in the 2,000+ seat City Center, as it did more easily in the 199-seat Barrow Street Theater...Sometimes the show itself loses its way. It’s hard to see the relevance to the topic of a pet psychic recalling conversations with an old horse and a dog, although the stories are amusi... Full Review
"Schmoll's production, staged mostly in front of music stands like the Encores! of yore, doesn't find the thread to make it a cohesive evening. But then, the piece is so specific to the style of the Civilians that an outsider to the company with limited rehearsal is at a disadvantage to begin with. As a result, only one of the six actors really manages to find specificity in all of her work." Full Review
See it if you want to see a fitting tribute to the late Michael Friedman, sung & acted by some amazing talent (including Taylor Mac).
Don't see it if you do not enjoy the work of the Civilians, Michael Friedman, or need traditional plot/dialogue/song.
See it if you are a fan of The Civilians/Michael Friedman, you appreciate the Encores! series, or you want a short but touching evening of theatre
Don't see it if you aren't a fan of the Encores! format (script in hand), or you're looking for a traditional storyline instead of small vignettes
See it if you want an understated show with funny and sometimes touching snippets of what people hold onto and often can't let go of.
Don't see it if you want great music that outshines the acting, you want a cohesive storyline, you do not have at least some insight to the show's origins.
See it if Early Civilians/Friedman gem about loss - literal & existential Witty, often touching score enhances clever, often harsh book Sweet & sour
Don't see it if May be to whimsical & twee for some & book can be schematic as well Yet Friedman's sudden death last yr makes "gone missing" truly poignant
See it if You're a fan of the actors (they're all great especially Blackwell, Celik, Mac, Behlmann) or Michael Friedman. this is a great tribute.
Don't see it if You're expecting a story because this is all interview vignettes interspersed with short songs.
See it if You love beautiful voices and songs about loss and love. Some songs were sentimental, some were quirky.
Don't see it if You want a straight show with dialogue. There is no dialogue.
See it if Continuously witty and well-cast to pull off the humor as well as have the acting and singing chops
Don't see it if Like a great collection of chocolates, the level of genius will fluctuate from start to finish
See it if Michael Friedman's songs on loss are particularly poignant after his death from AIDS last year. Nailed by excellent cast.
Don't see it if A small show in a big space. Hip audience. The Lobby Project before the show was also quite moving and pleasant.
See it if has clever songs in various styles and hilarious patter/stories linked w songs both expertly delivered by performers
Don't see it if this is cabaret-like presentation not fully realized play; still at its best similar 2 Sondheim: wry & heartbreaking
See it if Like delightful City Centers Encores.. performances. Quirky,cute,sweet funny original .Poignant now w/ Michael Friedman gone
Don't see it if You don't like Encores Format. Gone Missing itself worth seeing.
See it if you like new musicals, you want to see more of Michael Friedman's work, you enjoy quirky looks at situations
Don't see it if you don't like modern musicals, you want a more structured book musical
See it if you want a collection of songs/stories about lost objects and losses of other kinds, a show made of personal vignettes appeals to you
Don't see it if you want a fully-staged show, you want something driven by a unified plot/narrative
See it if you're familiar (or wish to be better acquainted) with Michael Friedman and his excellent scores, performed by a pitch-perfect cast.
Don't see it if docu-musicals don't interest you, or a concert setting impedes your enjoyment.
See it if You like revue style shows. Little snippets of people discussing things they lost. Clever, compelling music. Funny.
Don't see it if Weak voices and slow. 75min felt much longer. No follow-through plot. Jumped around from snippet to snippet. Weakest of Encores! shows.
See it if you need a fix of Michael Friedman's music.
Don't see it if you enjoy following a limited group of characters through their stories as in most staged works. GM introduces dozens of monologues from...
See it if Taylor Mac shines."Civilians" technique works for some. Beautiful Voices. 75 minutes. Encores always gives it's best. Micael Friedman !!!!
Don't see it if Cannot compare to Spring Encores. 75 Minutes. No sets. Comedy outdated in parts. City Center is huge. New committee needed for selections...
Also Two peformance not enough. If only two, why try to get "off book"?
See it if Short vignettes read from scripts on stage, interspersed with songs. Humorous, nostalgic, light-hearted. Fun characters.
Don't see it if You are looking for something deeper or more dramatic. This is a short, entertaining diversion.
See it if you are a fan of Michael Friedman, want to see some great actors, or interested in exploring how we deal with loss (in a small sense)
Don't see it if you are looking for an absorbing plot- this has a loose structure with more of a connecting thread through short vignettes
See it if you have fond memories of the earlier run or want to hear this cast sing an eclectic mix of pleasant songs laced w/ standup, impersonations.
Don't see it if you want it to feel major in any way. This is an unfussy, bittersweet tribute to the late Michael Friedman.
See it if The Lobby Project had more life, more personality, more talent displayed and a greater sense of the loss of Michael Friedman. Go early.
Don't see it if You want interesting orchestration, cohesive, on pitch performances. An overarching story that had any connectivity.
See it if you like concert staged musicals with clever lyrics and solid performances. Interesting and unusual material about missing objects.
Don't see it if you're expecting anything particularly standout or noteworthy about the production. Production isn't bad just lackluster.
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