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Review: Title Of Show at The Black Box Theatre

Yipes! My OMG-LOL Meter was shattered Thursday night at the Black Box Theatre’s production of [title of show] with book by Hunter Bell and music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and directed by Noah Hill and Rebecca Casad. It is hilarious, clever, creative and poignant all at once and is ideally suited to a black box style venue. The script also was awarded both an Obie and a Tony in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

I’ll defer to Wikipedia for its concise synopsis. It states: “The show chronicles its own creation as an entry in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and follows the struggles of the author and composer/lyricist and their two actress friends during the initial brief (three-week) creative period, along with subsequent events leading up to the show's production.” It is, essentially – stick with me here – “a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical.” All the characters are real people and the show is about the real occurrence.

It effectively goes from the initial creative process to submission of the script, to being selected to perform at the festival, to production off Broadway, to production on Broadway, to eventual decline as the theatre world moves on and the subsequent disappointment and despair resulting from that and then its soaring resurrection. Some of the wacky innovative musical numbers include “Untitled Musical Number”, “I Am Playing Me”, and “Filling Out the Form”.

The cast includes five exceptionally talented new-to-me-but-hope-to-see-again, performers: Noah Hill as the book writer, Hunter, Ryan J. Hurdle as composer/lyricist, Jeff, Katie Griswold as always-the-understudy Broadway actress, Heidi, and Rebecca Casad as the frustrated aspiring actress, Susan. Oh, and I can’t omit the deadpan Rob Elfline as keyboardist, Larry. They deliver a fast-paced, energetic show that makes two straight hours speed by like a NASCAR race. Believe me, you won’t miss the missing intermission.

[title of show] continues at the Black Box Theatre, 1623 – 5 th Avenue in Moline , Thursday through Saturday, July 13 through 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Also, best wishes go out to Black Box co-founder, David Miller, for a speedy recovery following a recent illness.

I’m Chris Hicks…break a leg.