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Review: UNEXPECTED JOY at Ground Floor Theatre

Ground Floor theatre hits the stage!

Review: UNEXPECTED JOY at Ground Floor Theatre Entering a theater after a two year hiatus had everyone in the house chatting, hugging, and expressing gratitude for live theatre's return. Ground Floor has become a staple in the Austin theater community and their in-person return to the stage has been much anticipated.

Unexpected Joy is a heartfelt concert musical, navigating the art of compromise within families. Staring the coolest grandma, lovingly referred to as "glam-ma" for her glamorous love of life, Joy (played by Cathie Sheridan) is a singer and matriarch for her daughter Rachel/Rainbow (played by Amber Quick) and granddaughter Tamara (played by Caroline Mullins). Arriving for their late fathers memorial concert, buttoned up religious zealot Rachel holds a lot of anger and bitterness for the way her mother raised her. Added to this mix of emotions is the third generation in Tamara, who greatly resents her mothers overbearing condescension. The stage is set for a family drama, but the show turns into a fish out of water comedy by the introduction of Joy's fiancé, Lou (played hilariously by Michelle Alexander). The clock is ticking to the memorial concert and surprise wedding, setting the conflict and the mayhem in motion, while navigating these modern relationships with family.


Unexpected Joy is a fun show that delivers the raucous belting to the back of the house. Director Lisa Scheps found the comedy within the dramatic revelations of these characters' intentions and the on-stage band delivered a very exciting element to the live singing. Each actor performing held their own during the heartfelt ballads performed center stage. The story swayed in ebbs and flows of sung soliloquies and discovery during its one hour and forty five minute run. The music, performance and direction of this show were not unexpected, as the team at Ground Floor consistently deliver original and inclusive work, supporting different perspectives and surprising turns. Expect a great show during its final weekend at Ground Floor Theatre. Who knows? It may bring a smile to your face reflecting on your own family dynamics.

Show and ticket information may be found here: https://www.groundfloortheatre.org/

Photo Credit: Ground Floor Theatre



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