About the author

Charlotte Selton

Charlotte Selton helps physicists make their voices heard on Capitol Hill as Member Advocacy Senior Associate at the American Physical Soceity. Alongside her passion for politics is an old and abiding love for all things theatre. Ever since her father introduced her to “Phantom of the Opera” at age 6, she has known showtunes better than the Top 40. In college, she highlighted the work of local theatres as a critic for the student paper, the Emory Wheel. She is graduated from Emory University with a bachelor's degree in Physics and Political Science.


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    Oh, how I wish Larson would have learned from his mentor Sondheim’s directive that music has to serve the lyrics and not the other way around. I saw this production last week and, unfortunately, could make out barely 20-25% of the lyrics. As a result, the wonderful energy and performances were destroyed by the utter failure of the production to communicate its story. I’m assuming that those who know the show found it edifying. However, having seen only one other production, I was lost throughout most of the running time about what was happening.

    Part of this was the inadequacy of the sound design as the mic’d voices were not mic’d very well and the band frequently overwhelmed the voices. This was made obvious during one number when the performer’s body mic failed and she was actually more understandable than she was in the rest of the show when she was mic’d.

    But a large part of the fail was the director’s clear preference for music over lyrics. That sort of performance energy might work well at a rock concert, but for a musical that should be about telling a story, it was a wrong choice.

    I desperately hope this performance does not indicate what Signature might be doing with Sondheim works under its new artistic director.

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