BWW Reviews: Our Productions Theatre Company's ORDINARY DAYS has an Extraordinary Amount of Heart!
As their inaugural performance, Our Productions Theatre Co. Dallas made the bold choice to present a largely unknown musical to represents their unique mission statement. With a goal to stage "small shows with BIG impact," Our Productions recently previewed the regional premiere of the engaging new musical ORDINARY DAYS by Adam Gwon, which opens in Addison on April 9th and runs through April 19th, 2015. Although this may be a small musical with an even smaller cast, the show boasts plenty of heart, humor and harmony!
Told through the eyes of four millennials living in New York City, ORDINARY DAYS is a story about finding fulfillment, happiness, love - and even taxi cabs - in the big city. Each of the nearly two-dozen "songologues" is a witty, sometimes painfully honest, snapshot from a moment in these young lives. Although the piece is clearly written for, and by, someone who understands the chaos of functioning in a busy city, the characters are relatable to anyone who's ever felt alone, searched for love, or questioned their purpose. At a preview performance last weekend, the theatre was full of young teenagers who even seemed to laugh, cheer, and cry throughout the piece. What makes this production especially unique is the fact that Our Productions is one of only 10 theatre companies across the country who have obtained the exclusive rights to perform this new musical.
Playing the four (and only) characters of this show are the critically acclaimed local favorites, Mathew Silar as Warren, Juliette Talley as Deb, David Price as Jason, and Sarah Elizabeth Smith as Claire, who each bring stellar vocals and depth to the multifaceted characters they represent. With nearly five songs per performer, each member of the cast shines on their own, delivering honest and vulnerable performances which develop as their stories eventually weave together. To understand the structure of this unique show, think of it as a hybrid of Jason Robert Brown's theatrical song cycle SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD meets Love Actually (the 2003 major motion picture).
During a talk-back after the performance, ORDINARY DAYS director, Stephanie Riggs, discussed the process of producing this piece: with approximately two weeks of rehearsal, (including only four days of vocal work with the accomplished musical director and one-man-band, Mark Mullino), Ms. Riggs described her intention to minimize any stage movement and use of props, in an effort the let the intimate material speak directly to the audience. She also worked in direct communication with the show's creator to better understand his ideas. With the well-spoken Riggs serving as an artistic director of this new company (along with Mark Mulino and Brad Baker), it was refreshing to hear her investment to her craft. The local arts scene should be happy to welcome an artist with her commitment and knowledge.
ORDINARY DAYS may not be based on a famous book or movie; the score may not have any #1 radio hits; and the show may not be a mega-hit Broadway blockbuster...but this is exactly what makes the show so charming. Like the new theatre company producing the show, ORDINARY DAYS is small, but full of love and commitment - two important ingredients in creating art. ORDINARY DAYS will be presented in the Studio Theatre at Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road in Addison, Texas from April 9 - 19, 2015, with performances held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 with a $5 discount for Seniors (55+) and Students (with ID). Tickets may be purchased at www.ourdallasproductions.org or by calling the Our Productions Box Office at 972-724-2147.