“Songs of a New World”
No, seriously, that’s the first word I thought of when I tried to sit here and figure out where to begin- “Songs for a New World” is a seriously ballsy show that takes a bunch of risks where it could have chosen to play much safer. Director Noah Reeves dresses his stage in newspaper print from top to bottom with only four major pieces of furniture to tell the small tales that make up the whole of the show- it’s minimalism that carries a bold statement- it’s small but it’s everything. It’s and the newsprint reflects the vastness of what the show wants to accomplish. And when the music begins, we are immediately struck with the next risky venture- the cast moves forward without the aid of microphones.
And it caught me off guard.
“Songs For a New World” is a musical piece of performance art where the cast (2 men, 2 women) take on various roles representing people who have come to a moment of decision in their lives. Whether it comes to love, finance, liberty, war, or the dreams of a High School Basketball player; each of the characters represented are caught in a moment in their lives where one decision could mean the world. And the vocal pieces here are difficult, with challenging pitches and word play. And all four performers step on the stage without the aid of a microphone so these pieces need to be loud in the near 80 seat capacity theater- they need to sing loudly enough to match the accompaniment. They need to project their voices so everyone can hear them- and as I sat near the back of the theater, I was immediately aware of the challenge facing these performers.
And it works.
The four actors had chemistry with one another and there was a sense of support for one another as they represented the many tales being told- each of them remained present in the moment, even if they were not the focus of attention. I was really impressed with these performances and these vocalists.
4 out of 5.