Duncan Sheik’s Latest Musical: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

I’ve been a fan of Duncan Sheik’s music since Spring Awakening took the off-Broadway world by storm in 2006 so when I read that he’d composed the music for a new musical adaptation of the film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, I wanted to make an effort to try to see it. Plus Jennifer Damiano and Michael Zegan (Joel on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) were playing Ted and Carol! Plus Amanda Green had a lyric writing credit and I love her lyrics, especially in scores like Bring It On and High Fidelity. How could this be bad?!

This little 90 minute show in the round was about a couple in the 60’s who have a mind-altering experience at a retreat in California and come back to share it with their friends and everything that happens after. It’s somewhat trippy, to say the least.

I really appreciated a lot of the ideas that the show brought up in a while – what IS cheating? Is honesty always best?. However this felt more like a play with some songs thrown in than a musical. I don’t remember being very taken by any of the music but I do remember that it had a (very fitting) 1960’s feel to it.

The set is minimal – just a couple of furniture pieces that move around to create the different settings. Honestly, I thought it felt very long for a show that was one act. It didn’t really flow at all. The cast was great and they did their best with the material that they were given.

I was expecting something that was awe-inspiring like Spring Awakening, but this wasn’t it. Maybe next time, Duncan Sheik!

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