REVIEW: The Lockout: A Musical

The Lockout Brings Their A-Game

P1150137Six Hours Short writing duo, Ben Fort and Jason Gallagher (of ESPN/TrueHoop BallerBall.com), have put together nothing short of a brilliant masterpiece with “The Lockout: A Musical.” I have never seen a more professional production in this city that wasn’t on a Second City stage or in a Broadway theatre. With over 30 crew members, 16 paid cast members, costumes, a complete set and a full-length recorded album, these guys pulled out all the stops.

I know almost nothing about the NBA lockout. However, this show can be appreciated by NBA aficionados and theatre fans alike. I can’t stress enough how impressed I was with this show. Scene transitions were creative. Sound quality was top notch. Musical pieces were perfectly placed, choreographed and lit. The writing was astounding. There were only a few lines delivered that reminded me the show was scripted. For the most part, it all seemed very natural and conversational, which leads me to the talent.

Thank you to Ben, Jason and Joe Giovannetti (director) for being so particular with your casting choices. I’d like to call out two things in regards to the casting. First, there were not one, not two, not even three, but four female vocal powerhouses in this lineup. Neala Barron, Sheridan Singleton, Sarah Lynn Robinson and Rachel Tietz were all dynamite. Sarah reminded me of Kristin Chenoweth. Rachel’s general demeanor reminded me a lot of Kristen Wiig but her voice is closer to that of Anna Kendrick. Neala could be compared to Kelly Clarkson and I might have to say Sheridan is like a mini Beyonce. Seriously, they are all amazing.

Secondly, there’s the Patrick Poulin/Ben Harpe duo. Patrick’s eager energy is grounded by Ben’s earnest intentions and they compliment each other very well. Patrick pulls a lot of weight throughout the show, but Ben captured my attention and held it for the whole show. He’s a twenty something that convincingly plays a charismatic, middle-aged man and sings like honesty and justice reign from the sky. In my opinion, Ben stole this show, but in the absolute, most unpretentious way. He stole the show and he stole a small piece of my heart in the process. Really wonderful performance.

As with any musical, I had my favorite songs. (“Superstar” was my favorite.) There were songs I could have done without, but that’s to be expected. My one real request would have been to see Rachel “intern” sing more. The show could also be trimmed down a bit but I think that’s something they are already working on.

Overall, the energy was high from start to finish making the crowd “go wild.” I can’t recommend this show enough. It’s a beautiful blend of talent, satire and musical delight. “The Lockout” hits a sweet spot at the top of the key, unlocking the hearts of all who enter the court. 

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“The Lockout” is playing Thursdays through Sundays at The American Theater Company until September 15th. For more information, visit www.LockoutMusical.com or follow them on Twitter at @LockoutMusical.

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posted on by Kiley Peters posted in Chatter, Reviews

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