I wasn't going to review IIOERAM as I recently became friends with
show co-creator Jennifer Ashley Tepper, but was actually surprised how little the
show was Just-Another-Concert-Of-Songs-From-Musicals (which is a thing
that normally bores me). Before the show I greeted Tepper and referring
to the posterboard outside, said, "Dessa Rose is not really a 'flop'."
She corrected my use of the word "flop" with a repeat of the concert's
subtitle, "An evening of Rare and Inspiring Songs, Anecdotes, and Photos
From Underappreciated Musicals".
Perhaps the subtitle needs to double-underline the word "Anecdotes", because that's the bit that seals the show's flavor. Yes, Tepper and Kevin Michael Murphy give comedic and very interesting history on the show we're about to hear the next song from. Yes, the performers are all wonderful. But what makes this concert something I'm going to enjoy seeing again in future incarnations is the stories told to us onstage by the original creators and performers of those under-appreciated musical. Sometimes the stories are funny memories about the audition or that one performance where an actor had some disagreeable Chinese on Third Avenue, and sometimes it's the original composer telling us about how the show's design simply became too large for its quieter material by the time it hit Broadway. The next concert will be on January 23rd; all new songs, stories, and insights into the Broadway Experience.
And that does it for my 2010 NYMF run. One needs to judge the festival shows I see by how much promise they have; and on that scale, most all of the shows I saw this year had something good going for them. Better record than the other NYMF years I've seen, and better than this year's Fringe Frenzy. Here's to 2011.
(Or, 2012, when my own next musical will actually be suitable for submission...)