Starting Here, Starting Now | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

Starting Here, Starting Now

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Starting Here, Starting Now, White Horse Theatre Company, at Wing & Groove Theatre. White Horse, started last year by UIC grads to showcase musicals, seems completely flummoxed by this revue. Lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. and composer David Shire are known for shoehorning pretty good songs into pretty lousy stories (like Big, though Maltby also wrote some of the lyrics for Miss Saigon). But here even the songs are massacred--and since there's only a line or two of dialogue, that's all there is to the show.

The vapid plot is typical of a musical: boy falls in love with girl, boy secretly falls in love with another girl too, girls find out, and everyone is single again--but life, they trill, goes on. Even this simple story is barely comprehensible as sung by the three actors here: Susannah Martinek as the girl on the prowl, Marisa Tantillo as the girl next door, and Patrick Sarb as the boy who two-times them. Bland vocals and undeveloped characters are part of the problem, and frequent inaudibility the rest: though miked, the performers' voices are drowned out, even in the intimate Wing & Groove space, by Nick Sula's thunderous keyboard. Director Jeremy Morton also eliminated some songs and moved others, and the resulting sequence makes little sense.

Only at the end is there a bright spot: Martinek sings the clever "Crossword Puzzle" with such finesse and good humor that we glimpse what might have been.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →