It's been in the last year that I've become more familiar with William Finn's music through Tracy's classes and Tara 's show in December. He writes songs for real, gritty, flawed, intriguing characters with unique perspectives on the world which makes them so great to sing.
The characters in Falsettos are just that, and the actors portraying them in this production are absolutely incredible. The show tells the story of Marvin, who in 1979, leaves his wife and son to be with another man. What follows is the story of a non-traditional family in a huge era of change and uncertainty in the late 70s and early 80s. The themes of AIDS, sexuality and family dynamics are still so relevant today.
An interesting detail about this production is that it is actually two
shows, written separately, that have been combined to form the complete
show. Finn wrote the first act, March of the Falsettos, in the late 70s
and then returned to the characters in the late 80s to write
Falsettoland. This production has combined the two original texts from
these productions, rather than the version
that was used on Broadway in 1992. There is a contrast in the writing
and storytelling in each act, but I think it works really well and gives
you a great sense of the character's development and progression over
the two years that passes between the two acts.
I was sitting in the front row for last night's preview and I was enthralled by the company's performances, especially Eric Morin , Glynis Ranney and Michael Levinson, who is just 11 years old. The emotion, convincing relationships, beautiful musicianship and fantastic storytelling were compelling and inspiring. As an actor, I sometimes love being that close for smaller shows because you get to see the nuances in the performances and details that are sometimes missed when you're sitting further back. It was captivating. Just beautiful, brave work.
"Life is never what you planned. Life is moments you can't understand"
Falsettos is on now and runs until May 12 . Acting Up Stage also has some neat post-show talks and art making workshops happening throughout the run, all taking place in the lovely Daniels Spectrum building. Tickets range from $35-$55 and Students are Art Workers can receive 20%