TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “February House”
Gypsy Rose Lee is back in a musical, alongside Benjamin Britten, W. H. Auden and Carson McCullers, in a contemplative new work by Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley — based on the true story of a Brooklyn boarding house for artists.
“It’s the music that makes the magic…” New York Times
“Despite tackling sexual and political identity, emotional and creative turmoil, and even WWII, the show feels bloodless.” New York Post
“Its stronger elements — particularly a sometimes-intriguing score by newcomer Gabriel Kahane — don’t nearly add up to a satisfying evening.”Variety
“…the musical skips deftly from contrapuntal dissonance to an open-air folksiness that itself is a fascinating counterpoint to the cultured subject matter.” Entertainment Weekly
Mizer’s Two Cents: A Dutch friend of mine gave me a salted licorice to try. Its burning bitterness tasted nothing like candy to me, but she grinned and ate them like they were gumdrops. This musical is salted licorice. For a very specific audience, its unusual, at times fascinating score (part Adam Guettel, part Williamsburg coffeehouse) and highly literate atmosphere will feel forward-thinking and carefully wrought. Many others will find it static, a dissertation made for footnotes, not footlights. See it if you know your LaTouche from your LaChuisa and like to be up on what will be discussed in serious musical theater circles.