In keeping with its traditions of staging and supporting original works, Arlington’s Signature Theatre presented Crossing: In Concert, an ambitious and original musical presented in a staged reading/presentation on the weekend of October 20th. Its presentation is part of the ongoing American Musical Voices Project.
Brought by the creative team of Eric Schaeffer (Director) and Matt Connor (Music and Lyrics), it is a story of intertwined characters that are brought together by the inevitable change awaiting them at a train station. Their stories reflect decades of hopes and dreams for this group, ably supported by the soaring voices of Signature regulars. Mr. Connor, who has brought several original scores to Signature, has given us songs that focus on the fear, delight, or that certain anticipation that the thought of jumping on that train will bring. It is ethereal in nature—the cast is onstage, but each song (and eventual scene) is self-contained from a separate decade.
…we look forward to the progress of this auspicious new work.
The unifying element is how all will deal with the change, the challenges they are facing in the next few minutes that could affect the rest of their lives. The cast comes together in the coming at you opening of ‘’Here I Am,’’ using multi-layered vocals with hints of Sondheim. The able music orchestrated by August Eriksmoen, runs from blues, gospel, and power ballads; and the cast is certainly up to the task.
Highlights were Priscilla Cuellar’s effortless and room-filling vocals in “After the Rain” and Tracy Lynn Olivera’s rendition of a touching ballad “Fly.”
One of the issues in a show of this type is offsetting the situations onstage. The songs need to depict the time more descriptively to be more effective. The audience needs to feel that they are right there with the person as they go inside of themselves while standing in the station. The still being developed book needs to focus on this aspect also, to anchor the situations of the vignettes. Crossing: In Concert is in its second workshop setting, and we look forward to the progress of this auspicious new work.
Running Time: 60 minutes with no intermission.
Crossing: In Concert was presented at Signature Theatre- 2200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington, VA- on October 20-21, 2012. For tickets to other performances in Signature’s 2012-2013 season, call the box office at (703) 820-9771 or purchase them online.