OnStage St. Louis Columnist
When I first heard about an all A cappella musical I was curious. How could this compare to a full orchestra? The whole writing team, cast, and crew proved how much the human voice could do. Even the pre show announcements were sung and showed off the aca abilities of the writing crew, former a Capella members. Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth began this journey because of their love of the style. This is such a juxtaposition from my last love on Broadway, the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening, using no voice during certain parts(still in tears at the 'I failed' scene).
Justin Guarini (Trent) is a power house of emotions, a virtual roller coster causing laughter and tears. There is a sweet chemistry between him and Colin Halon (Steven, taking over for Telly Leung). James Snyder is relatable and charming as 'Nate'. Erin Mackey (Ali) had the audience laughing during 'Saturday Night Obsession'. The show gives each of the cast a chance to shine while they work together as a well oiled machine.
The 'in the round' setting makes for a wonderful view for the whole audience. There is not a bad seat in the house. The costumes (Clint Ramos) quickly allow the cast to cover multiple parts (I saw that 'Cocktail' inspired bottle flip Justin) which was needed to complete the sound. The plot moves smoothly along the one act.
I would recommend this show. It's full of powerful music and a strong message. Hop on an MTA vehicle and get to the Circle in the Square Theatre located on west 50th between Broadway and 8th Ave. Visit telecharge.com for tickets and intransitbroadway.com for show information.