OnStage Chief New York Theatre Critic
How do you get to where you are going if you don’t know where you are? – Boxman
“In Transit,” currently running at Circle in the Square Theatre, is a charming and uncomplicated new musical with a simple message delivered convincingly by a splendid cast. Set primarily in a New York City subway station, the musical is narrated by Boxman (Steven “Heaven”Cantor) and centers on the stories of Jane (Margot Seibert) the aspiring actor working at a temp agency awaiting her Broadway break, Steven (Colin Hanlon) and Trent (Arbender Robinson on January 12, 2017) the gay couple struggling with issues of honesty and a religious right “in-law,” Nate (James Snyder) the out-of-work broker, and Ali (Erin Mackey) who left her Seattle home to chase after love interest (and cad) Dave (David Abeles).
Moya Angela (Ms. Wiliams, Momma, Althea), Gerianne Perez (Kathy), Mariand Torres (Nina), and Nicholas Ward (Chris) round out the talented cast that does its best to bring life and energy to “In Transit.” Despite the heroic effort of the creators to spin a musical tale that connects deeply with urban dwellers and their current challenging exigencies, the musical remains formulaic and less than distinguished. Undercutting the clever and refreshing acapella performances is the unnecessary amplification in a space with above average acoustics.
Stand out musical numbers are “Deep Beneath the City/ “Not There Yet,” “Broke” (Nate), “Keep It Goin’” (Althea), Ms. Williams’s (Moya Angela) “A Little Friendly Advice,” “Choosing Not to Know” (Trent), “We are Home” (Steven and Trent), and Jane’s summative “Getting There.” These numbers successfully support the musical’s theme of focusing on “the here and now” as opposed to yearning to know more about life’s journey.
The creative team has been re-working “In Transit” for several years but has not yet found a way to add the level of sophistication and depth needed to move the project forward in convincing ways. And although the cast is diverse ethnically, it is woefully not diverse in age. The performance we attended seemed to be comprised of many tourists who – to be fair – seemed to connect to this musical in a positive way and embraced the suspension of disbelief with ardor.
“In Transit” is produced by Janet B. Rosen for Six Train Productions. Scott Landis serves as Executive Producer.
The cast of “In Transit” includes David Abeles, Moya Angela, Adam Bashian, Steven “HeaveN” Cantor, Justin Guarini, Laurel Harris, Telly Leung, Erin Mackey, Gerianne Pérez, Margo Seibert, Chesney Snow, James Snyder, Mariand Torres, Nicholas Ward, and Aurelia Williams.
“In Transit” features scenic design by Donyale Werle, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Ken Travis, vocal arrangements by Deke Sharon, music supervision by Rick Hip-Flores, and casting by Binder Casting, Inc. Production photos by
The playing schedule for “In Transit” at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th St., New York, NY) is as follows: Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for “In Transit” range from $89 - $159 and are available at www.InTransitBroadway.com. Running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes without intermission. Photo: Joan Marcus