The Green Room: The College Musical

The Green Room: The College Musical

The Green Room: The College Musical
Music and lyrics by Chuck Pelletier
Book by C. Stephen Foster and Rod Damer
Directed by Ryan C. Roberge
Air Head Productions
Harwood Watson Dance Studios, Orlando Fl

This was an evening filled with both promise and pain as we worked through the latest musical by Chuck Pelletier. His concept of exploring the universe of the theater geekdom holds promise and Pelletier can crank out interesting music, but his story clunks along and tonight’s singing was often flat. Geeky freshman Cliff (Roberge) invades the cozy little Green Room clubhouse of his sister Ana (Misty Posey) and her friends. They tell him to get lost, and then change their mind for no discernable reason. While they all aspire to the stage, John (Dustin Schwab) has the option of joining his daddy’s big architectural firm if he switches over to engineering. Ana takes class seriously but Divonne (Sara Jones) can’t seem to pass a test or get a significant role. John and Ana date but it’s not serious – he’s in theater for nookie and she’s keeping herself pure and we never go down the path that would turn that into an important motivator. Mean while Cliff takes shine to Divonne after she makes it clear she’s ready, willing and not too picky. A scene or two later she’s pregnant, then she’s not, and Cliff takes it all like a big fluffy sheep dog chasing a tennis ball. John almost changes major but the promise of an off Broadway vanity production funded by daddies money keeps him in the Green Room, although not to the point where he or Cliff do actual homework. These kids are slackers, and whiney ones at that.

While the story telling tends to drop plot bombs when it fails to create interesting tensions, the songs are well constructed and when Ms. Jones sings them by herself they are quite enjoyable. “It’s All About Me” could be a minor hit, and “I’ve Had Enough Of You” and “It Comes Easy” both showcase excellent melodies and lyrics. Unfortunately, only Ms. Jones seems in control of her voice, “Destination Stage Left” and “Waiting in the Wings” both were flat and the male singers couldn’t keep in harmony. There was some snappy dialog, Divonne complains about a professor: “He gave me a ‘D’. Is he trying to get me to stop acting?” and “I don’t want kids, I want a Tony!” Cliff response to Divonne’s claim of lesbianism with “I’m OK with you wearing the pants.” and when Divonne play the burning bush in a biblical epic, he compliments her with “I’ve never seen a more beautiful bush.” This guy can turn out gags.

There are some rough spots in this show, but there’s some funny and touching material as well. “The Green Room” seems a great concept for college and theater festival productions, and the program claims this is the Florida premier. It’s not clear where else it was staged, but I’m hopeful the writes will keep honing this show.

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