Book & Lyrics  by Tom Jones
Music by Harvey Schmidt

INFO:

Opened at the Ambassador Theater    January 22, 1969    109 performances
Original Director: Tom Jones
Original Choreographer: Vernon Lusby
Original Producer: Cheryl Crawford, Richard Chandler
Original Leads: Mr. Rich: Ted Thurston   Angel: Susan Watson   Potemkin: Keith Charles
Cast Size: Male: 3 Female: 1 Ensemble: 6-any size Total Cast Size: 10 – any size
Orchestra: 10, can be done with as few as 3-4 effectively.
Published Script: None
Production Rights: MTI (Music Theater International)
Recordings: The original Broadway represents the score well.
Film: None
Other shows by the authors: The Fantasticks, 110 In The Shade, I Do! I Do!, Philemon
Awards: None

WHO SHOULD DO THIS SHOW:

Theater companies are always looking for small cast musicals, inexpensive to produce in terms of production values. There aren’t very many, and a lot of smaller shows are not worth a look. This show, by the gentlemen who created The Fantasticks, is certainly worth a look.

The small size of the show, and general youth of the cast, makes it a very inviting and cost-effective choice for colleges and universities, and they consider doing this show. It will easily work, as well, for summer stock, dinner theater (where I think it might do quite well), semi-pro, and regional houses looking for a little-known show by the authors of The Fantasicks, to revive. (And I would promote it using “The Fantasticks” connection.) I don’t think there’s enough show to survive the New York critics, who will find the show obvious, and the second act too thin, and they will not be wrong – BUT audiences still enjoy the piece. So don’t plan on taking it to Broadway, just in case you were.

The simple technical values make this a terrific show in the middle of a season, since its load in and out are not complex. A musical that is this easy to put up, and that entertains at the level this one does, deserves some productions and attention. Also, this is a good show for theaters without wings or flies, and for smaller theaters and stages, it fits such houses well.

Another thing, this show offers an elastic cast size, and will fit small companies as well as mid-sized companies wishing to use more actors in the ensemble. It is possible for all the ensemble work to be done by, say, 4 men and two women, they would be kept very busy and would almost take on the color of lead roles. But you can go much larger with the ensemble, and spread out the numbers amongst them as there are plenty of ensemble musical moments. In fact, the ensemble is in almost every number!

Be Warned:

There’s a lot of sex implied, and some explicit profanities. This is not a show for children to do or to see. If your audience is offended by explicit language and implied sex, find another show.

You’ll need a very strong set of leads, they have to carry a lot of songs, a lot of dialogue, and much of what happens could be seen as “silly”, lacking gravity, or obvious. Your actors must play the thing as if they truly believe. That means that the four leads (and no one else actually has any lines, I believe) will be quite busy,. And must make the audience “buy in”, make them accept the premise that this allegorical evening feels true and real to the characters. At the same time, the fun must almost never stop, and your actors must know this and aid and abet. If you haven’t a Director who can bring this balance of comedy and true believer out in your actors, if you haven’t four leads capable of singing, dancing and acting with energy, joy and a kind of faith in the ritual the show presents, the ritual of life, aging and death, then don’t do this show. It is a fairy tale that first you, then your Director, then his cast, and finally the audience must agree to play along with, for it to work.

THE STORY:

ACT ONE: A crude platform (no unlike the set for the Fantasticks). A huge painted sun above the platform goes into eclipse. As it does, the beating drums we’ve heard cease. In torchlight, Potemkin, the narrator, a cynical bum, appears and sings of the “Celebration” this evening will be. As he does, the other revelers appear, masked, and sing with him. They tell us that some people think this is the end of times, but they believe life will continue and the sun will rise again.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and cold. A young boy, Orphan, enters the fable. He’s alone, freezing, “An Orphan In The Storm” who encounters the city and is almost raped by its denizens, tormented, robbed, killed by the blizzard. Potemkin applauds the boy’s “very touching” number, and contemplates stealing the boy’s shoes. Orphan explains how he worked in the garden of an orphanage, when everyone vanished one by one, and the building was torn down. And they destroyed a stain glass window Orphan calls “the face of God”, from which he still has the eye. As he’s talking, Potemkin robs him blind and marvels at the boy’s naivete. Now, says Orphan, he’s going to see the “old man” to get him to stop tearing the building down. That would be Mr. Rich, who is holding his annual New Year’s party. Potemkin offers to join the boy, show him the way of the world, show him how to “Survive”.

They arrive at Mr. Rich’s place. It’s dark, filled with bugs, and all the mirrors are covered. The boy prays…and a girl dressed as an angel appears. Her name is Angel, and she asks if they’ve seen Satan or the Devil Girls. They are performers and they do a number together, a sort of near-strip, and she shows them the rest of her costume. It’s for New Year’s, the party. The boy stares, and she asks if he likes her body, which he does. That’s important to her, she’s an actress. But she suddenly realizes she’s late, and revelers pour on. He asks to see her again, but since he’s “nobody”, she doesn’t think it’s likely. She goes “onstage” with Satan and the Devil Girls, and sings “Somebody”.

Potemkin than introduces Mr. Rich, a fantastically old, decrepit, devolved, wealthy man. He eats disgustingly, and complains bitterly about being “Bored” with everything in life, everything is dark and cold. But Orphan enters with the eye of God, singing of the sun, and this gets Rich’s attention. The two are as different as, well, night and day, winter and summer. The boy prattles on about how life is “balanced,” boring everyone, so Rich stops him by stating that he has not had an erection in 25 years. He hasn’t cried or felt anything in 25 years. He dismisses the kid, but Potemkin quickly asks Rich if he had feelings while speaking to Orphan. Rich thinks about it, and tells Orphan he will save the building if Orphan can make Rich feel. Orphan sings of “My Garden”, at the end of which, Rich sheds a single tear!

But time steals the tear away, it evaporates, as all things do. Rich explains that long ago, he was poor, like Orphan. But he was happy. Then he became a millionaire selling falsies, false teeth, glass eyes, plastic flowers and fruit. His flowers are even better than Gods, he tells the lad, because they don’t die. But then, he noticed that clocks were moving faster, days whizzed by, one day he looked in a mirror and GASP! So he had all the mirrors covered. And now he wonders about his lost youth and vigor. “Where Did It Go?” he decides he can’t stand it anymore and demands a pistol. He’s rich and always gets his way, so someone hands him a pistol which he aims at his own head and shoots, but it just emits a flag that has written on it ‘bang.” He demands a knife, and stabs himself. It’s rubber, one of his, probably. He demands a rope, hangs himself, it breaks.

Orphan encourages the man to live. A new year is starting! But Rich only sees cold, death and misery. Rich becomes so upset, he collapses, and is taken to his rooms. Potemkin thinks quickly. He talks to Orphan and Angel. Orphan wants his garden, Angel wants to be somebody. Rich wants to feel alive. He insists the two young people play a scene, pretend to fall in love, touch, kiss. He asks if she knows any love songs, as Rich is a sucker for music. He goes to get Rich.

Angel can’t believe that years of ballet and training have come to this. She dwells on her rotten life as Orphan dwells on how blind Rich is to life. Angel asks if he knows any love songs, and decides to teach him one. “Love Song”. As they sing, they dance, get involved, lights change, revelers join in the background, and Rich is watching, growing ever more “involved.” At the end of the song, climactic and dynamic, Angel rushes away from the boy, having made a decision, and into Rich’s arms. He’s alive again! Thrilled, Rich places Potemkin (who used to be a theatrical producer before arriving at hard times) in charge of the New Year’s eve revels. And Rich decides to celebrate the new year in the garden, where at midnight, he and Angel…

Orphan, alone, sings that love song he was just taught. Potemkin arrives with a note from Angel. She will meet him early in the garden. He is ecstatic. Alone, Potemkin tells the audience that he used to be a magician. He could never master the sawing-a-lady-in-half trick, and killed 23 partners trying. It wasn’t the sawing them in half that was hard, it was the second part, putting them together. And so he advises the audience to return and see the second act, after Intermission.

ACT TWO: the revelers, like an odd and somewhat randy orchestra, under Potemkin’s direction, sing “My Garden”. And that’s where we are. But it’s dark and cold. Potemkin informs us that Angel is now dressed in riches, the music will now move from cynical to soft, keys will even change. (They do.)

Orphan meets Angel alone in the garden. She tells him she will speak to Eddie – Mr. Rich – to help save the garden. She’s somebody, now, he’ll have his garden, and they cannot have each other, but still they tell each other that “I’m Glad To See You Got What You Want”. Rich then makes a grand entrance dressed as, um, Fred Astaire? No, some kind of overdressed hero. And he’s brought decorators with him, who turn the garden into a fantasy, plastic version of life. In the center, he places a huge phony tree, and he expects Angel to dress as Eve from the Bible, as part of the New Year’s revel Potemkin is directing. He gives her a fig leaf for her costume. And then, he and she will…eat the forbidden fruit! He’s ready to go, he tells Angel, because “It’s You Who Makes Me Young”.

It is a vigorous number, and at the end, Rich collapses. Potemkin plays doctor (another profession he used to be a part of), and tries to help the old man, even as Orphan begs Angel not to have sex with Rich. Horrified as she is, she refuses to be poor any longer, to be nobody. Rich says all he needs is a kiss from Eve. Once again, Angel decides, and kisses Rich. She rushes off, to prepare for their number, but secretly appalled at what she’s done.

Orphan asks Rich about his garden, claiming it’s here, under the cold ground. Rich tells the boy to prove it. Orphan says he doesn’t need to prove anything, nature will take its course in the spring. Rich scoffs – all he has to do is raise a finger and the garden will be ripped up by machines. Rich tells Potemkin he’s going to lie down, and demands he kick the kid out of the garden.

Orphan begs Potemkin to help him, but Potemkin, a survivor, just points out that the garden and the kid and the wold are “Not My Problem”. Orphan decides he’ll do something on his own, and Potemkin warns him that Rich holds all the cards. But Orphan knows that since “50 Million Years Ago), life has always triumphed, and it will here, today. Potemkin shrugs, and lets the kid know he will go with whoever wins.

Rich screams, having a nightmare. In it, a young girl he held turns into a mannequin, and he froze to death. He demands that beauticians and body builders make him young again, and in a parody, the wrap him in linen and make him up, until he looks like some sort of Frankenstein’s Monster. As doctors join in this charade, Potemkin realizes that under the mask, one of them is Orphan. Finally, Rich looks at himself in the mirror, and realizes he looks monstrous. But Potemkin, costumed as Father Time, moves into the “Saturnalia”, the spicy celebration of the New Year. At the end of it, they cu off the head of a puppet representing the old year. Rich is very upset by this.

Upset, Rich talks to Angel, and she tells him the lie he wants to hear, that he’s young again, and that she wants him. They move into the Adam and Eve seduction number, “Under The Tree”. But at the end of the song, Orphan and Angel embrace, and Rich smells the end. Suddenly, Potemkin/Father Time launches into “Winter and Summer”, an epic battle between the old and new, as Rich and Orphan vie for Angel. As Rich is dying, Angel selects Orphan.

But time has run out for Rich. As Potemkin slowly counts, Rich’s youth costume falls apart, and mirrors are brought up. (Yes, this is a bit too much like the end of Man of La Mancha, but…) At twelve, Rich dies.

The New Year’s party explodes, and then dies, there is no celebration. Orphan and Angel look out at the audience, into the dark, realizing the world is a grim place, but it’s all they have. They step together into the darkness as Potemkin and company offer their “Celebration” for the continuance of life.

THE SONGS:

“Celebration”, “Orphan In The Storm”, “Survive”, “Somebody”, “Bored”, “My Garden”, “Where Did It Go?”, “Love Song”, “I’m Glad To See You Got What You Want”, “It’s You Who Makes Me Young”, “Not My Problem”, “Fifty Million Years Ago”, “Saturnalia”, “Under The Tree”, “Winter And Summer”, “Celebration” reprise

MY OPINIONS:

As always, feel free to ignore my opinion and rating.  If you do, however, don’t be surprised if your end result lacks a reason for celebration…

Celebration is an interesting musical. It deals with large and profoundly human issues. It’s music is catchy, and I think, memorable, with energy and invention. The script, which seems to me to be very much in line with Bertolt Brecht’s approach to epic and alienationist theater, is very theatrical, and fun, even if the symbolism utilized is very “on the nose” and obvious. The characters are cartoonish in many ways, but the struggle between youth and experience for the affections and attentions of life are real enough, given that the proceedings are presented as a sort of ancient and enduring ritual.

Actors have fun with these roles, in my experience. I don’t believe an audience will be emotionally moved much by the show, as they are when they see The Fantasticks. But I do think an audience will have a very good time, and that they’ll walk away humming a few melodies, with something interesting to talk about.

Celebration is a relatively inexpensive show to do. The set is simple, the orchestra can be very small, perhaps just a piano, bass and drums. It is relatively easy to cast except for two roles, as all of the other parts can be played on the young side. The two older roles, Potemkin (mature), and Mr. Rich (“old”), are the only parts that will require actors you won’t find at a college. And you’ll want a young cast to keep the show moving and the energy high. The material calls for that approach.

The ensemble performs as a part of nearly every musical number in the show. They are in almost every scene, even the intimate or climactic scenes. They are very much the fabric of the show, not just a backdrop, as is the case with most ensembles in most musicals. They are masked, courtly, nasty, and a part of the ritual. You should make sure that your ensemble is committed, ready to work harder than most ensembles ever have to, and up to the challenge.

MY RATING: * (A better-than-average and interesting show, right for many groups.)

 

PRODUCTION CONCERNS AND IDEAS:

DIFFICULTY OF MUSIC:

The music is clever, theatrical, sometimes a bit jazzy, but really not very hard to learn, teach or play. Your leads do a lot of singing…well, really, all of it, just about.

Potemkin – Lyric Baritone, with an edgy, clear voice that has a piercing quality. Needs a good upper register.

Orphan – Tenor, youthful, romantic leading ingenue-type voice.

Mr. Rich – Baritone, big belt, full mature voice with control and command, and a lot of personality.

Angel – Mezzo/Alto with lovely upper register and a good, solid, hard belt.

Ensemble – Strong voices, able to belt.

DIFFICULTY OF DANCE, CHOREOGRAPHIC CONCERNS:

This is a dance show, though all of the dance is integrated into numbers as they’re being sung. (There are no ballets, as in West Side Story, for instance.)  Your choreographer has some work to do with this show.

Numbers that will need some real dance include “Celebration”, “Orphan In The Storm”, “Survive”, “Somebody”, “Bored”, “My Garden”, “Where Did It Go?”, “Love Song”, “It’s You Who Makes Me Young”, “Not My Problem”, “Fifty Million Years Ago”, “Saturnalia”, “Under The Tree”, “Winter And Summer”, “Celebration” reprise.  That’s all but one number in the show. That means your ensemble most move well, ideally very well. It also means your Choreographer will be teaching a fair amount of movement to the leads.

This was the Bob Fosse period, and sex was on the choreographic menu.  If you’re uncomfortable with that, then “Under The Tree” and “Saturnalia” will really be a problem.  Also, Mr. Rich’s number, “Where Did It Go” is sung with a group of men behind him.  It would be funnier if it was a group of women, the very thing he longs for and can no longer get.

It’s likely that your three lead men will be stronger actors and singers than dancers.  They have a lot of songs to get through, so you should put a schedule and your choreographic approach together with this in mind.

CASTING CONCERNS:

Potemkin – Mid 30s-50s, sly, worldly and weary, cynical, a dedicated survivor. A man with a checkered past who has apparently had his hand into many occupations. This is a role that an actor could easily take far too seriously, and that would damage the production. The actor must approach the play with a sense of humor. At the same time, he needs to have real presence, even command and charisma. I’d look for a man perhaps just moving past his prime. Cast for acting and a look, then voice (which must be very good), and movement.

Orphan – In his late teens (at least in his look), just arriving at his manhood. Idealistic, intense, serious, hopeful, positive. The actor should be able to radiate a sort of naïve faith in life, the very opposite of Potemkin. Compared to everyone else on stage, he should seem pure, unsullied, the hope of the next generation. Though he is a bit, well, um…stupid, I guess, with all the jawing about his garden. Cast for voice, then a look, then acting, and finally movement.

Mr. Rich – A mature man to play an old man, but he’ll need a ton of energy. The role is broadly comic, and is generally played for laughs. An experienced veteran of musicals and comedies would be your man. He must play aggressively, bigger than life, and be willing to make a complete fool of himself. That is part of the great fun of this role. Cast for acting, type, then voice, then movement, because he is going to have to dance a bit.

Angel – Around the same age as Orphan. She must be beautiful and sexy, the kind of young woman that young and old men dream about. We must understand why these two men would go to war over her affections. In fact, we must understand why neither man even considers withdrawing, which allows Angel all the power of choice, and that is the engine for much of the conflict. She’s got to dance well, in go-go style (“Somebody”), tango, other theatre styles. And she must really belt and sing. This role could make someone a star, in the right production. Cast for age and look, voice, then acting, then dance. But she’s going to need the entire package.

Ensemble – Youthful, energetic, talented. Must sing and dance first. Some acting would be good.

SETS:

The show needs to be performed on a unit set. It should be able to be the Garden, a snowy landscape without feature, and Rich’s palace. Basically you’re asked to provide an open space with a hand-made platform, much like he set for The Fantasticks.

BUT I would do something closer to the spirit of the show, and place its action in the shadow of an “ancient dolmen.”

The entire evening is intended to be a ritual, the passing of the old to make way for the young, and your set can help provide that sensibility. I’d love to see the whole thing take place in the shadow of a dolmen, or a Greek oracle. I don’t think much of an attempt should be made to have anything feel or look “real.” I’d do as Brecht suggests with this show. Lower the light batons so the audience can see the instruments throughout the evening. Move set pieces (or which you will need very few that move) in front of the audience. Leave the main drape open throughout, never close it. In fact, have it open when the audience arrives. Place the musicians on stage, or where they can easily be seen, and even used in numbers like “Somebody”, where Angel could lounge on the piano for a moment, and she could blow kisses to her band as she exits.

The technical elements of this show should make it very clear that a ritual is taking place, that it is theater, and that it’s okay to have a lot of fun. Bright colors should be welcome where they will contribute, such as during Mr. Rich’s party at his place, and in the Saturnalia in the Garden.

About that garden – it’s petty much dead when we first see it, a few plants on a bare stage. Rich’s people dress it up ridiculously with fake plants (plastic) and flowers, and a huge, fake tree. It should clearly be fake, even a painted cutout two “workmen” carry in, and prop up.

Make the set changes fun to watch. Make them a part of the evening, and the entertainment. Here are the essential sets:

The place where the ritual will take place. An altar, a dolmen. Something like that. Torches if you’re allowed and it’s safe.

The snowstorm. Make the stage go all white. Give the actors white sheets to wave about, and white confetti. Make it a storm against which Orphan must fight to take a step forward. (That will be funny if those stealing his things make no effort at all to move around. Orphan just does not know how to operate in the real world.)

Rich’s palace. Perhaps drop a chandelier from the rafters, and columns made of cardboard? Don’t do much else. Lots of mirrors, covered up in sheets. Perhaps the dolmen (a cutaway, probably) could be used as a part of this set, a grand entrance way. That would be creative and smart.

The Garden – a desert now. Mostly a bare stage. Perhaps the ruins of the orphanage in the background, with a few random pieces of cinder block or brick on the stage floor, all that remains.

As you can see, this is a pretty easy show, but you can get very creative and have fun establishing the ritual and theater elements. You can give the show a look the audience will find primal, a deep part of their own experience.

COSTUMES:

Cloaks, rags, earth tones for many of the characters.

Potemkin is almost always dressed in black, so find some other, more interesting thing for him. He says he was a theatrical producer, so perhaps he ran away with a few spangly vests and hats and gloves, now distressed and worn. He could take some sort of odd, vain pride in his appearance as a survivor, in small touches like a pocket handkerchief.

Angel needs an angel costume, shiny and white and winged at the start. This should be able to be stripped off to reveal a bikini-look, devilish and yummy. She can change into some sort of sexy, somewhat revealing street wear. She likes it when men look at her, and compliment her, and says it’s important for an actress to look good. Let her. But remember, she’s nobody, she’s broke. It’s very important she look broke! The sparkles and spangles are borrowed, stolen. Later, when she’s “naked”, place her perhaps in skin-toned tights. (The original Broadway used long white underwear. Ehh.) Or get more creative. Remember, she has a lot of singing to do, so let her breathe.

Orphan is a young man who has spent his life in a garden. His first clothes should include a scarf, a coat, a sweater, things that can be stolen from him. What’s underneath are gardening clothes, simple and simplistic. Under that, whatever he will wear when he’s “naked” with Angel.

Rich’s clothes, like the character, are overstated bombast, almost a satire of wealth. Perhaps a lot of bling, gold necklaces and bracelets, rings, way over the top in an attempt to look “cool” and young. Suits that are too flashy, too “young”. Even a hat. Maybe he wears a baseball cap in an attempt to look Hollywood and “cool.” It should all of it look obvious and ridiculous.

The ensemble must move and sing a lot. They will need a base or unit costume that makes them a part of the ritual, and somehow ties them both to Potemkin, and to the idea of the passage of time. On top of this, you can throw coats, hats, you name it, to make them fit each scene. They will some of them play specific roles, such as Satan and the Demon Girls, which will require red spangly bikinis and the like. Some play beauticians (with white face masks, as if they’re going to operate), and Mr. Rich’s entourage of toadies and yes men. You can get pretty wildly creative with all this.

Whatever they play, they should usually wear masks that hide part of their face, but don’t overly restrict their ability to be seen and to act and sing.

Overall, this should not be a hard show to costume.

PROPS:

There are a number of expendables you’ll need on hand, including confetti (NOT glitter!), and balloons, as well as cardboard party hats and other party paraphernalia. The Devil and Devil girls could have tridents. Orphan needs that all important stain glass “Eye of God”, a remnant from the broken stained glass window, and it should be something like stained glass, though it can look theatrical and be make of cut gels. The ritual may call for torches – good luck with that one. You might use electric candles instead, on a darkened stage.

A hat and cane for Rich. “Spanish” props like castanets for “It’s You Who Makes Me Young”, perhaps sombreros and any other silly thing you can think of. Each number may require a few props, as this show is prop-heavy. The Saturnalia could use some suggestively nasty props…

Work closely with your Director.

LIGHTING:

You’ll be busy. The show races through moods and locations. The opening should be strange, mystical, in half light and candle light, a ritual at a dolmen at midnight. Next, a snow storm, and perhaps harsh white light with some sort of lighting effect to create a theatrical illusion of falling snow. Then, Mr. Rich’s palace, perhaps with a working chandelier, well lit, for musical theatre purposes. Each number should have its own look. You’ll want at least one follow spot for solos and duets, and it can be used to comic effect in numbers like “Where Did It Go?”

It’s likely there will be a lot of cues. A computer board would be useful. Go over the moods and looks with your Director as early as possible. The Director will need to understand what you can provide.

MAKE-UP:

The ensemble is often masked. Straight theatre make-up for them, unless you want to play a real game and have them ghoulishly made up for a ritual in which someone must die, under their masks – and reveal their faces at a selected moment.

Potemkin should be on the pale side, a man who is just making it. Angel is also poor, but spends money on make-up before food. She should look fabulous. Angel is a young, healthy kid, don’t do much.

Mr. Rich will be made up in accord with the actor’s actual appearance, as he must be at death’s door. And you can take this very far indeed, and make it clear that he is an actor, perhaps far younger than the role calls for, and that he is (obviously and pointedly) in make-up to make him appear old.

Not a difficult job, but it could be fun and creative, depending on your Director and the conceptualization of the show.

KEY PERSONNEL (The ones you MUST get right.):

Director, Choreographer, Music Director, Set Designer, Light Designer, Potemkin, Angel, Orphan, Mr. Rich

MY THOUGHTS:

I directed a production of this show years ago. It was tremendous fun for a young director and a young cast. The score is well constructed and memorable, and some of the numbers like “Celebration”, “Orphan In The Storm”, “Where Did It Go”, and “Somebody” are simply great. When we did it, I had a young, attractive cast (and I was a 23 year-old Director/Choreographer), and we got standing ovations every night. It was truly fun, and it was successful. That was a few years ago…

I think a Director approaching this show would be well-advised to make himself familiar with the ideas of Bertolt Brecht, many of which were used here, either unconsciously or with purpose. Brecht’s approach is actually really fun to play with, and much of it has become foundational for theater today. You can read what he had to say in Brecht’s Theatrical Organum.

Another potential interesting thing about the show is that it is a product of the experimental 60s. It already uses masks, party hats, confetti. It could also make interesting use of puppets (since everyone is a puppet to Mr. Rich…), even massive puppets of significant size, say of of Rich, with strings attached to some of the ensemble members, who then move and dance as he wishes.

More. The play is openly a ritual, the passing of the torch from old to young. It is an inevitable passage, necessary for the survival of the species, which reaches its inevitable end when Angel selects to be with Orphan, at the end. Rituals can use fire, a dolmen, effigies, all sorts of interesting images. The show could be stunning to look at if approached creatively, but baldly, clearly contrived, a moody theater set. All the more fun.

This show is all about “attitude”, as much as a Bob Fosse musical. This one, though, is about pure theater, and ritual (which every show inherently is). It goes right to the core of what theater is supposed to be about. A very worthy show to do, and if you do not try to hide the fact that its message and method is bald and obvious, but instead use these facts as a part of your overall design, really great fun.