MUSIC MUSIC LIFE DEATH MUSIC: AN ABSURDICAL by Adam Seelig (One Little Goat). At Tarragon Extraspace (30 Bridgman). Runs to.
MUSIC MUSIC LIFE DEATH MUSIC: AN ABSURDICAL by Adam Seelig (One Little Goat). At Tarragon Extraspace (30 Bridgman). Runs to June 10. $20-$35. 416-531-1827. See listing. Rating: NN
Family life can be absurd. That seems to be the unsurprising takeaway from Adam Seeligs uneven and unfocused new musical.
Young couple JJ (Richard Harte) and DD (Jennifer Villaverde) are ready for some hot lovin when DDs mother, B (Theresa Tova), comes a-knocking at their door after midnight.
Bs appearance wakes up the couples depressed young son, PP (Sierra Holder). And soon bits of the familys history including Bs fathers survival of an unnamed war by eating onions emerge to shed light on their current situation.
Besides writing, composing and playing piano for the show with a strong, if overly amplified four-person band, Seelig also directs. Thats a misstep. An outside director could have helped shape and clarify the script into something with an emotional, if not a literal, logic.
The songs have a lilting, hypnotic feel, but the lyrics often feel obvious. And the moments when the characters whip out microphones for a meta-theatrical touch, while amusing at first, soon become monotonous on Jackie Chaus realistic domestic set.
The actors are up for this heightened style of performance. But of the ensemble only Tova, her multi-octave speaking and singing voice capable of scaling to huge heights and plummeting to despair, stands out, especially in a scene about a mysterious chest of drawers that would make a great short play on its own.