BWW Preview: Out Of The Box Theatre Company Presents HIGH FIDELITY
angst / äNG(k)st / noun
1. the stylish loathing of a society that didn't deliver on (implied) promises
2. the inevitable byproduct of a society perched atop Maslow's hierarchy of needs
"What came first? The music or the misery?" asks Rob Gordon, sad-sack hipster and star of Out of the Box Theatre Company's upcoming musical, High Fidelity. A self-described part-time stoner who went from clerk to owner of Championship Vinyl, the "last real record store on Earth," Rob is a music aficionado who filters his life experiences through the lens of pop records. Rob admits that he isn't sure if his personal dissatisfaction led him to "follow the music"--or if he's simply fulfilling a narrative of discontent that he learned from listening to hundreds of thousands of pop records about heartbreak. High Fidelity, adapted from the Nick Hornby book and John Cusack movie of the same name, follows Rob (Will Schneiderman) as he navigates his first "adult" breakup.
Bored with life, but comfortable and lazy, Rob festers in stagnation until his girlfriend, Laura (Reneé Cohen), jumps ship in favor of new-age philosopher, Ian (Willie Simpson). Ian has everything Rob doesn't: self-assurance, an accomplished career (he handled Kurt Cobain's intervention), and--most importantly--a sense of the future. Meanwhile, Rob, along with his two friend-ployees, Barry (Dave Hatfield) and Dick (Gavin Juckette), has built his life around realizing the adolescent dream of hanging out in a record store and making "Top-5" lists about music--for the indefinite future.
The characters in High Fidelity are angsty snobs; yet, their obvious lack of self-awareness makes their snarky elitism comic and endearing. Barry is a loudmouth bully who shames customers with bad taste (watch for Out of the Box's guest stars, including KJEE's Phat J; local theatre guru, Charles Donelan; and weatherman Alan Rose) and eats all the doughnuts, and Dick is so awkward that getting halfway to first base with his John Tesh-loving girlfriend (Katherine Bottoms) seems unlikely...at best. High Fidelity is about the universal brand of heartache that inspires pop songs--but also about the bittersweet steps into un unsure future. Rob, who disregards the fourth wall to brood about why he's doomed to be left by his lovers, makes earnest attempts to overcome his cluelessness by finally accepting fate and moving forward, even if it means leaving Laura behind.
Musicals are always about the music, but High Fidelity (directed by Samantha Eve) unapologetically defines narrative through references to pop music and culture. Supported by an energetic ensemble of record-store shoppers, ex-girlfriends, and pop icons, High Fidelity is a smart, music-savvy show that pays homage to the influencers of pop music.
Out of the Box Theatre Company Presents:
Directed by Samantha Eve