Monday, June 22, 2015

Bland From Here

Single Carrot's Theatre current play, Blind From Here, presents a rarity (for them): a dull production.

A home-cooked creation, the rock musical features a book and lyrics written by troupe member Alix Fenhagen.  Paul Diem, Stephen Nunns, Jack Sossman, and Michael Kerr have written the score.  The result is a loud but long evening in the theater.

Brett Olsen-Ecker stars as Elsa, the lead singer of a rock group making a trip across America.  The adventures end when Elsa is involved in an accident and ends up---you did  read the title, didn't you?  We begin with jokes about the limited cultural horizons of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but the script and score become more of the same as one podunk Midwestern town after another passes into view.  The cast is energetic but Ms. Olsen-Ecker is not the world's greatest singer and the male band members (Paul Diem, Andrew Porter) do not elicit much sympathy in their Halloweenish costumes and wigs.  Caitlin Weaver and Holly Gibbs provide solid vocal backups, but their earnest support does nothing to enliven a monotonous score or add interest to a routine the-summer-when-I-crossed-the-country road story.

This bland production reveals once again the Achilles heel of Single Carrot, an otherwise superb company.  The Carrots have many fine actors, directors, designers, and technical engineers.  But playwriting is not their forte.

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