by Michael P Coleman
This crisp touring production of Falsettos, running at Sacramento’s Community Center Theater through Sunday, March 17, tosses the audience at least three fast, solid curveballs in a story that’s simply and gloriously about love.
The first of those curveballs is the cast and crew overcoming a show in which all of the dialogue is presented in song, and a sound system that didn’t adequately support their efforts in that endeavor. During early songs, which are critical to help set the stage as it were, the audio seemed muffled. Maybe my listening proficiency got better as the show marched along, as by the show’s second half, lyrics were easier to comprehend.
The show’s second surprise was a deviation from the musical theatre staple of presenting the show-shopper just before the intermission. While that song, “Father & Son,” carried a healthy dose of heft, it didn’t prepare me for “What Would I Do,” which closed the show. Max von Essen and Nick Adams completely silenced the audience with that one. It was amazing to watch. It was amazing to feel. I had to hurriedly wipe away tears before the lights went up.
Other show standouts included Eden Espinosa, who sounds like a young Jodi Benson, Thatcher Jacobs in his national tour debut, and Bryonha Marie Parham, with an almost show-stealing, brassy performance.
Falsettos’ third curve ball? To describe it would deprive you of one of the most profound musical theatre experiences I’ve ever had. Suffice it to say that I walked away, after having engaged in a day-long snit with my husband, regretting yesterday’s almost 12 hour, lock-jawed attitude. That tiny tiff was about next to nothing, in the grand scheme of things.
And that revelation took me right back to Falsetto’s tagline. Love CAN tell a million stories, and this story — this show — is more than worth the time to take it in.
Click here to get tickets to Falsettos.