BWW Review: Penfold Theatre's GHOST QUARTET Delights Austin Audiences
Four actors, four interwoven stories - one clever, ghostly musical. Penfold Theatre's GHOST QUARTET is perfect Halloween fun for theatergoers who love a good story put to song. With music, lyrics, and text by Dave Malloy (best known for Tony-nominated musical NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812) this show draws inspiration from many sources - from "Doctor Who" to "Grimm's Fairy Tales". If you can give your mind a break from trying to analyze the non-linear plot, you are in for a musical treat.
True to Malloy's style - this show's plot takes you down the rabbit hole while delighting your ears with songs that must be from some other world. The four players perform the 90-minute musical beautifully. This is no small task. (That is a heck of a lot of singing for each actor, none of whom leave the stage for the entirety of the performance.) It takes vocal powerhouses to pull it off, but this group is up to the task. Particularly Sarah Marie Curry (Gelsey), whose voice has that unique, eerily beautiful quality that the originator of the role (Gelsey Bell) is known for. But there is not a weak link to be found in the remaining actors - Nathan Daniel Ford (Brent), Shane Satterfield (Dave), and Megan Tabaque (Brittain).
Alongside the cast, the live band is wonderful and multi-talented (Austin Kimble, Megan Pritchett, and Stephen Mansolo). The cast members join the band at times, chiming in with their own instruments. And the actors move. A lot. They take up every inch of the available stage space as the show unfolds. (We must no longer settle for triple threats - what actor doesn't also sing, dance, and casually play the ukulele?)
Catch this show before it floats away. Again - forget about the plot. Just prepare to be a little confused and wildly entertained. If more explanation is needed, just consider these themes from the show - family, sisterhood, motherhood, love, revenge, time, death, and whiskey. Kudos to Director Liz Fisher and Music Director Austin Kimble, along with the rest of the Penfold Theatre team, for bringing this brilliant show to life.
GHOST QUARTET runs through November 1st with performances continuing this weekend at Blue Genie Art Bazaar, and special final performances Halloween night and November 1st staged at The Driskill. http://www.penfoldtheatre.org/