BWW Reviews: SING ME HOME Rocks at Rockwell
"Sing Me Home" is a new musical set to premiere at the prestigious New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) on July 20th but Los Angeles had the honor of hosting its debut at Rockwell on Sunday, July 13th. Featuring a variety of performers, each song was introduced by writing team, Amber Cassell or singer/songwriter Kristy Hanson who penned all 13 songs.
The musical tells the story of a former teen pop star whose come back is marred by memories of her past and the journey she takes to reconcile past and present. Each song portrays a theme revealing parts of the story. For example, Kristy Hanson started the show with a song titled, "Time to Begin Again" which is about second chances and followed with a duet featuring herself and Angela Parrish whose smooth, jazz sound carried the sweet melody well.
Haviland Stillwell sang a beautiful song about a break up that had a great pop/rock vibe, her voice easing into the music effortlessly. Dominic Barnes and Curt Mega sang a wonderful self-described "It Gets Better"-type song about being an underdog, a theme many can relate to. Both singers complemented the song well, singing in harmony during the chorus and bringing something unique to the individual verses. Tinuke Oyefule led the audience in a fun, upbeat tune, her unique tone of voice bringing the song to life. Haviland Stillwell returned to sing the dance/pop song that made the former teen in the story, famous. Growing up in the era of boy bands and female singers, I immediately connected to the song and could hear "pop hit" written all over it. Kathy Deitch and Curt Mega sang a beautiful love song together about change, the beat slow and steady with Deitch's vocals soaring over the melody and Mega's tenor voice playing in perfect harmony underneath hers. Julie Garyne sang a memorable song that tugs at the heartstrings and includes the line, "You're the one place that feels like home." Tawny Dolley belted a song described as a "dirty Southern rock song" and rock it was. She angry-sang in a gorgeous way, making the audience believe the character's aggravation. Kelli Provart took the 11 'o clock number, the number in the show that sticks with you, and it stuck. Her voice rang powerfully through the club, making us believe in the character's struggle. Kristy Hanson followed and ended the show with the song from the finale, a song that ends the show as strongly as it begun.
I strongly believe in original musicals and after attending this program, I believe in this show. It's a musical for the new generation of musical theater but still retains the classic themes of love, self-discovery, and personal challenges. If you want to see an original show with great original songs with catchy and beautiful pop/rock songs, go see "Sing Me Home" at the New York Musical Theatre Festival on July 20th and 21st. Tickets can be found here: http://nymf.org/tickets/2014-events/sing-me-home.
Photo Credit: Aimee Curameng
Dominic Barnes and Curt Mega
Dominic Barnes and Curt Mega
Amber Cassell and Kristy Hanson
For more information on upcoming shows at Rockwell visit: http://rockwell-la.com