Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Sept. 20
We're in a garage, and Jonathan's reached a "pre-midlife crisis": he's about to turn 30 (in 1990). Are his dreams of a groundbreaking career in musical theater just fantasies he should abandon? His clock's ticking. A tragic aura hovers over Stone Soup Theatre's vibrant, minimalist show. "Jonathan" is the late Jonathan Larson, creator of Rent, and the musical details his struggles prior to the breakthrough. As the show's 14 rock-based songs attest, Larson paid his dues in full (and died, of an aortic aneurysm, at age 35). Intense doubts wage war with the courage needed to trust his talent. Young Jim Chatham stars as Jonathan, giving vent to anxieties with a flexible voice and focused energy that never flags during the 90-minute show. Briona Daugherty and Eric Vest play multiple characters, from Larson's exiting girlfriend (loved their rational discussion/phone fight in "Therapy") to his financially successful roommate with three Gucci belts, Michael (Vest also scores as Larson's soft-spoken father). It feels strange, at first, to sit 15 feet away from performers wearing head mikes (especially a talented trio that obviously doesn't need them), but the garage-band concept works. Stone Soup's designers combine a work-in-progress look with surprisingly professional polish. 619-287-3065.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, August 17, 2008
- Sundays, 7pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm