Tonight, I was one of around 250 people attending a special concert version of “High Fidelity: the Musical: at The Mercury Theater. This was a concert version with two participating companies- Route 66 Theatre Company ( the local company that did the first Chicago production) and Refuge Theatre Project, the young company that is currently doing a production at Refuge Records at 1415 N. Ashland Avenue. For those who recall the movie (non-musical) starring Chicago’s own John Cusack, it took place in Wicker Park (this area) and is about a record store.
A musical with a book by David Lindsay-Abaire, lyrics by Amanda Green, and music by Tom Kitt. Based primarily on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name, the plot focuses on Rob Gordon, a Chicago record shop owner in his thirties obsessed with making top five lists for everything, always observing rather than participating in life. When his girlfriend Laura leaves him, he goes through a painful re-evaluation of his life and lost loves (with a little help from his music) and he slowly learns that he has to grow up and let go of his self-centered view of the world before he can find real happiness.
What we saw tonight was a concert version with mostly the music, which is stunning, and if you like rock music, this is one that will set you aflame. The talent that was put before us, the old (originals such as Stef Tovar, Tricia Small, Justin Brill, Michael Weber, Ian Custer, Blair Robertson and Jonathan Wagner, along with the Refuge current cast members: Max DeTonge, Nick Druzbanski, Lewis Rawlinson, Liz Chidester, Kirk Jackson, Bradley Halverston, Darren Patin, and the musicians led by Jon Schneidman truly made me want to see the new production, not so much as to compare it with the original (which I loved), but because hearing the music after all these years, instilled a new desire to relive those days.
Be prepared. I am going to see it as soon as I can add it to my schedule and I will give you the full review. I must say, that based on what I saw tonight, this is a show that is truly worth the time and effort for anyone who enjoys a great time.
To contact the refuge Theatre Project, visit http://www.refugetheatre.com Tickets are $30
Fridays 8 p.m.
Saturday 8 p.m.
Sundays 3 p.m.
The show has been extended thru March 5th
They are Jeff Recommended!