The Music Theater of Connecticut in Norwalk is back with its Mainstage production of the off-Broadway musical, “Falsettoland”. It was a full house on opening night and the audience was thrilled to be back at the theater to enjoy once again another terrific production.
The musical has no spoken words and instead the story is told by the cast singing one song after another in the one and a half hour performance. The voices of the cast are clear, and the sound system dialed in so that it was easy for the audience to follow along with the story.
The setting of the story is New York City in 1981. The city is changing and the mysterious AIDS virus is just beginning to gain attention in the news. The audience is introduced to the first of the cast, Mendel the psychiatrist and his patient Marvin and then his lesbian neighbors Dr. Charlotte and Cordelia, a caterer. Mendel is counseling Marvin who is fighting with his ex-wife Trina about his coming out as a gay man, and the issues involving planning their son’s Bar Mitzvah. The story is layered with the tale of Jason (the son) and his coming of age, and Marvin and his relationship with Whizzer his ex-lover. The backdrop of these two layers is the lesson of the importance of family and friends while the specter of the AIDS virus hangs over head.
Act One also introduces Trina (Marvin’s ex wife) and Whizzer (Marvin’s Ex lover) to the audience. Reminding us that this is set in the 1980s, we see Marvin and Whizzer playing racquetball, and Trina working out in her matching exercise outfit to the latest fitness moves. The songs of the first act such as “Miracle of Judaism”, “Watching Jason”, “Racquetball” and “Everyone Hates His Parents” are fun and light .
The mood of the much shorter Act Two turns more somber. The arguing over what food to serve and who to invite to the Bar Mitzvah are overshadowed by Whizzer’s suddenly being stricken with AIDS. Young Jason in light of the developments decides to cancel the Bar Mitzvah. He truly does come of age and maturity as he makes the decision to go on with the party in some glitzy venue, but by bringing it to Whizzer’s hospital room. The importance of family and friendships shed light and positivity in the face of the darkening mood of the looming epidemic.
Falsettoland is a story that is both bittersweet and inspirational and is reflected in the musical score and in the performance of the highly talented cast. A thought provoking show that is a must see. This was another brilliant production directed by multi award winner KEVIN CONNORS (Director, Executive Artistic Director, & Co-Founder of MTC).
The very talented cast includes Jeff Gurner (Mendel), Dan Sklar (Marvin), Avi Sklar (Jason), Max Meyers (Whizzer), Corinne C. Broadbent (Trina), Jessie Janet Richards (Dr. Charlotte),Elissa DeMaria (Cordelia). The audience responded to their heartwarming performance with a standing ovation. Actors are professional and members of Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Musical Direction by David John Madore.
Covid-19 protocols are in place and include wearing of masks, and proof of vaccination.
Performances are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm through November 20, 2021.
Music Theater Of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave, Norwalk, CT
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