Once Around the Sun
Music and lyrics by Robert Morris, Steven Morris, and Joe Shane
Book by Kellie Overbey
336 West 37th Street
What we have here is a failure to communicate. Pretty boy Kevin (Asa Somers), the lead in this rock musical, plays in a wedding combo run by his alcoholic uncle Lane Stephens (a tour de force performance by John Hickok). Skye (Caren Lyn Manuel), Kevin's sweetheart, gets fired from the wedding band by the uncle. The wedding musicians have their own band, B-Side, though no gigs. Still, Kevin's had enough of Lane and quits the wedding band, after which Lane dies of a heart attack. Money is tight, so Kevin accepts a proposition from stunning black diva Nona (Maya Days); he goes to L.A. and jumps into her bed. He doesn't call home; he doesn't write. His sweetie takes up with a bandmate. Kevin's solo career fizzles until he finds, in Lane's guitar case, a song. He sings it. Like Patrick Swayze in Ghost, Lane comes back from the dead to coach him; the ditty breaks through and makes Kevin a star. He dreams a return to New York (shades of Our Town), wins a big award, tries to get his girl back, but it's too late. Everything turns to California goo. The bandmates played by Jesse Lenat and Kevin Mambo double as Hollywood sleazeballs and walk away with the piece. Their parts are way more interesting than the whole.