Friday June 23rd 2017

“Putting It Together”

Highly Recommended  If someone were to ask me to describe Porchlight American Musicals’ current production, Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting It Together” in one word, I would have to say “SLICK”! This is by far one of the best productions this ensemble has brought to the stage in years. Under the solid direction/choreography of Brenda Didier and the incredible music direction by Austin Cook, Sondheim’s classical lyrics ( and music) truly come alive. I think of Sondheim as more of a wordsmith than a composer as his  lyrics and the way his words work are incredible and in this revue, that takes his powerful songs from their plays and brings them to the forefront of “relationships”, there is a warm and wonderful feeling on the stage at Theater Wit on Belmont Avenue. Artistic Director of Porchlight, Michael Weber has really “put it together” with his start for the 2011/2012 season! Wow! I am truly impressed with how he has made all the right moves to bring to this intimate theater what one might call a “chamber piece”, a small show with large talent that will bring a warm feeling to your heart.

If you love Sondheim, you will not be disapointed! If you are unaware of the marvelous music he has brought to the stage, you will find yourself falling in love with his work. All the elements of this production are superb, fromm the inroduction done by Alex Weisman ( always cute as a button) as our charming host, to the music making trio led by Austin Cook ( who is a marvel at the keyboards) along with Sam Filip at Bass and Matthew Sitz on percussion. These guys are worth the price of the ticket alone ( what they do before the second act starts is amazing!), but this cast shines- Adam Pelty  and McKinley Carter are wonderful as Man and Woman number 1 , the married couple who despite their success are not as happy as they should be, and newcomers Michael Reckling and Aja Goes as the younger couple invited to their “loft” are dynamite. This cast truly understand what Sondheim is all about- the words!

The set by John Zuiker is very upscale, Gold Coast loft-like and the artwork on the wall  by Matthew Lew are great works of art. Julie Ballard’s lighting effects worked to highlight each number, but clearly this show is about the works of Sondheim and the talent on the stage. The music from “The Frogs”,”Sunday In The Park With George”, “A Little Night Music”,”A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum”, “Sweeny Todd”, “Merrily We Roll Along”,”Follies”,”Company”, “Dick Tracy” ( yes, the movie),”Assassins”,”Into The Woods” , “Anyone Can Whistle”and “Do I Hear A Waltz” are all songs that blend into the “story” of relationships as Man and Woman 1 examine their 25 years of being married. Hearing Sondheim’s music interpreted by the likes of Pelty and Carter along with Reckling ( a powerful version of”Marry Me A Little”- he truly nailed it) and the very sexy Ms. Goes comedic touch of “Not Getting Married Today” are gems! This is a show that you should put on your “MUST SEE” list.

“Putting It Together” will continue at Theater Wit, located At 1229 West Belmont Avenue through October 16th with performances as follows:

Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 6 p.m. ( this gives you two opportunities to share your Sunday at Theter Wit with Sondheim).

Tickets are $38 ( there are student discounts available) and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 773-975-8150 or online at www.theaterwit.org

To learn more about Porchlight and the rest of its season, visit www.porchlightmusictheatre.com

 

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