Michael Feingold scores two new musicals, getting a little lift from In the Heights, but finding himself Adrift in Macao. I was pleased to see his mostly kind words for In the Heights as I’d enjoyed it myself and thought that critics’ accusations that the musical doesn’t present the nabe grittily enough were very much beside the point. As Feingold writes, if “its conflicts resolve with abrupt ease, well, life has almost always seemed that way in the musical theater.”
I introduced myself to two young companies, Sabooge and CollaborationTown, each creating a work centered on an unstable protagonist. Neither cohered for me, though I did adore Sabooge’s stage pictures.
In the Sightlines section, Angela Ashman encountered the squeaky delights of the Tupperware comedy Elephant Tales. John Beer gave an unprejudiced account of two new plays by Thomas Bradshaw, Cleansed and Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist. And Andy Propst had the last word on Oren Safdie’s play of the same name.