re: No reports on how to dance in Ohio?
Posted by: juliabway 09:12 am EST 11/29/23
In reply to: No reports on how to dance in Ohio? - dramedy 11:51 pm EST 11/28/23

Well I will be the "hate it" part of the discussion, I guess. I saw it last week and thought it was very worthy but incredibly boring. First of all, it's looong, though I know it's early in previews and much could change. The songs are only so-so (Building Momentum is the best one). I actually think the general idea of being young adults with autism, grappling with real problems, could be an extremely interesting story to tell through music. But their songs lacked specificity in character, so I didn't feel like I quite "got" the characters enough to really root for them. (I think I would have wanted a Jason Robert Brown level of character detail in the songs to make them really come alive.)

And their issues didn't seem to merit the stage time. Here's an example. One girl likes a boy and wants to ask him out. I felt for her, but I also felt impatient with the whole thing, because I wasn't as convinced as she was that this would be a good romantic pairing. I get that the point was that she needed to work up the guts to ask him out, not that they needed to really get together. But I just didn't care very much. This is just one storyline, but there are several and I didn't feel particularly invested in any of them. The show also has a preachy vibe to it that frankly annoyed me. (Note: this might be on me. I haven't read too many other people complaining about this. I will admit to thinking "Uh oh... is this what Gen Z musicals are going to be like?")

I want to get more specific, but it was a week ago when I saw it. I should have written my thoughts down when it was all fresh. I do also recall the subplot with the doctor and his daughter frustrating me as well. Just felt like shoehorned in conflict for the sake of dramatic tension.

I want to say I DO like the inclusivity and authenticity in the production! I also like that none of the characters were caricatures (except maybe that blogger). But none were very memorable either. You know, I wonder if I'd have been fine with all of this if the storytelling were less draggy or the show were 90 minutes instead of 2 hrs 40. I haven't seen the documentary yet, but am thinking I might watch it soon as it may illuminate their writing choices a bit more.

Oh! And I'm sorry to say there isn't all that much dancing either!
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