by Susan Hasho
Opening with six beaming actors singing they could pass for 22, when they’re 30 or 31—makes a huge statement about our current social state of affairs, at least in New York City. I mean, if you’re too old at 30 where do you have to go but down for the next 50 years, hopefully. But then, the revue called thirtywhatever takes on, one by one, the challenges most thirty-something people in New York deal with—with both a light touch and a serious side.
There’s James Seol — “alone” by the Sondheim definition (very clever lyric)—he feels talking is so “yesterday” and feels separated from others in his song “Monologue.” Sunday brunch, sung hootenanny style by the whole company, is the universal gathering of the week. There’s Chris Redding “When You’re Good at a Job You Hate” with 15-year “golden handcuffs” trapped in the money; and a song with Kathleen Stuart and Erin Wagner Brooks “My New Roomate” about the after college, college-like solution of living together and stealing the neighbor’s Internet “ My Neighbor’s Internet.”
James singing “Cardboard Trees and a Painted Moon,” about his love of amateur theatrics, provides a lovely serious moment about how creativity is an escape. Other people getting married and Kathleen doesn’t have a ”plus guest.” Correy West “Sometimes” struggles with a father he never knew and the option of acceptance. Erin singing “Man in the Moon,” about a presence watching over us all, and Booth’s “That’s Not Helpful,” about people trying to make him feel better when mashed potatoes and chips are the comforting that works. “Next Year’s New Year’s Eve” is some kind of resolution, a thoughtful solution to the self-doubt and the it’s-not-good-enough yearning that thirtywhatever brings up. “Resolve to keep an open mind…for next year’s New Year’s Eve. To keep my heart open wide…”
Photos: Tricia Baron
Thirtywhatever continues February 13 and 20 at 7pm.
Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café, 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC 212-352-3101 http://www.westbankcafe.com/reserve