Ruth Leon’s Pocket theatre Review in NY

Ruth Leon’s Pocket theatre Review in NY

Stereophonic – Golden Theatre

“The art of making art is putting it together”, That’s George in Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George,  That 1984 show is the only one I know to tackle head-on how hard it is to become an artist, and how easy it is to fail.

Until Stereophonic. David Adjmi’s new play with songs by Will Butler, flawlessly directed by Daniel Aukin, also has at its centre a work of art in progress, in this case an album which its musicians hope will catapult them into the first rank of stardom, will make them superstars but, just as importantly, will confirm that they are artists, not merely technicians who sing. The margin between art and dross is paper-thin.

On a single set (by David Zinn) just showing the studio and the control desk, are five singer/musicians, all individually excellent, who have to blend their talents to construct a cohesive whole which will be both a work of art and a commercial success. With their indispensable but oft-insulted engineers, over months of rehearsal, frayed tempers, takes, retakes, disagreements, out-an-out fights, alliances formed, relationships broken and mended, peace restored and lost again, and try after try to get it just right, what emerges, we finally recognise, is, in fact, art.

“Art isn’t easy,” sings George in Sunday in the Park. No, Mr Sondheim, it’s not, but, just sometimes in the theatre, someone, or a group of someones, makes a show that is, unmistakably, a work of art.

​Stereophonic​ is just such a show.

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