By Erin Tobin
By Erin Tobin
Rest easy, “Closer Than Ever” is not anything close to the typical piece American musical theater.
Instead this musical review is closer to the everyday experiences of the typical Riverside Community College student and that’s why it will be a hit when it starts its run Nov. 19 till it ends on Nov. 21.
RCC’s next stop for its Off-Broadway series is as far from “Broadway” as is possible.
“Closer Than Ever” doesn’t have a huge cast, fancy sets and there’s no moments where everyone on stage breaks out in coordinated song and dance even when characters are complete strangers.
There are still a few jazz hands though, but everyone can rest easy since these fluttering spirit fingers only happen in one number with a cross-dresser.
“Closer Than Ever” isn’t about a ’40s starlet or gangs that fight through dancing, instead it deals with the real world and real world relationships using a mostly tongue-in-cheek fashion.
There’s no absurd plot, but somehow the string of emotionally-driven songs tie together a storyline of sometimes silly, sometimes sad things everyone has experienced in daily dealings with other human beings.
Everyone in the audience is not going to connect with every song sung, but most people will find some connection with “Closer Than Ever,” a concept that not every Broadway musical can claim to achieve.
There’s only a cast of 10, but not many more would fit on the small stage in McDermont Hall especially with the piano. It is this piano that Musical Director Gregory Nabours plays so exquisitely it can become a distraction.
The actors take turns playing different characters. Heatherly Stephens proves to be the strongest at this as she goes from being a 30 something woman frustrated about always being “just friends” in the number “You Wanna Be My Friend” to a normal secretary a few cubicles down who has a very abnormal night life in “Miss Byrd,” only three numbers later.
“Closer Than Ever” casts light upon and has songs about breakups and crushes, fathers and exercise. It’s the perfect opportunity for most college students to enjoy musicals and laugh at life.