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Theater Review: Nostalgia For Days When Hope Was Earnest And Trusted



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BROOKFIELD — The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts has [title of show], a fun and optimistic musical, on their stage. With book by Hunter Bell and music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, this witty story in song will make audiences long for the days where hope was earnest and trusted.

Four denizen young actor-writers from the New York City theater district gather to create and perform a musical to enter in a festival. With only three weeks to complete this undertaking, their dreams, talent and determination take hold.

Jeff (Nick Mason) and Hunter (Rob Bassett) spend their days their days in meaningless jobs and television viewing. Then an opportunity comes along that they decide to tackle: A festival is accepting entries for full-length musicals. With wit and vigor, they recruit two friends to be part of this adventure.

Heidi (Jami Valzania) and Susan (Jennifer Beveridge) jump on board. Together this ambitious and delightfully confidant cadre creates a musical in real time.

Accessing their own lives for material, what unfolds is deeply revealing of the struggle and pitfalls of trying to make it in theater. The numbers are funny and poignant as the four members of crew face their own insecurities and realities.

With catchy songs and clever dialogue, this musical is infectious. The audience can’t help but root for these dreamers.

This is a nostalgic look back at the challenges of life in the theater and the hopefulness of those who attempt it. In their dreamlike state they come to recognize the manner in which success can change everything, particularly their passion for the craft they love.

All four actors, along with onstage piano accompanist Sarah Fay, are energetic with exquisite comedic timing. Each actor reveals voices and characters with skill and joy as they are in fervent pursuit their goals.

This is a wonderful musical for all, and particularly so for those who have harbored dreams of success in the arts. The immediate and roaring applause for these actors was well deserved.

Performances continue through October 23, on Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are $25, $20 for seniors over 65 and students, and are available at the door or online at brookfieldtheatre.org.

The cast and production staff are fully vaccinated, and audience members will be required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination upon entering the venue.

Please note [title of show] may not be suitable for young audiences.

Rob Bassett, Jennifer Beveridge, Jami Valzania, and Nick Mason sing “Nine People’s Favorite Things” in the Obie Award winning [title of show], on stage at Brookfield Theatre for two remaining performances.
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