The other thing that needs to be made clearer is that this new musical is based on a very true story. Yes, true. I make the point of saying this because nowhere in the playbill (nor the script) is this emphasized except for the standard place below the title of the show on the official credits page (I don't know what else to call that page where it displays the names of producers who are presenting the show, staring the actors, supported by the production and creative staff). At intermission, I encountered many a patron who were wondering where this story came from. "It's based on a true story" I told them. They all looked puzzled. (Note to self: mention this in my blog).
But... unless I missed something, (and over the 2 hours and 30 minutes it was entirely possible) the show is really a one-trick pony - how The Shaggs came to be and the incredible (some would say disturbing) story behind them. Did we really need to explore this topic for over 2 1/2 hours? Time may heal all wounds, but did we really need to heal so much on this single topic? Time is the enemy of this show. Time should be used more wisely. While I'm not saying every show on the planet has to be cut to 90 minutes with no intermission, this show would certainly be a good candidate to try it out on. Over and over we revisited the same topics - defining family, loyalty, personal identity, and freedom. Make no mistake, the show is not filled with joy or happiness. The superb story telling, fine acting, and (when applicable) great music would be served well by shortening the pain-cycle just a bit.
If there's any up-side to the painfully long run-time, it's that it provided the opportunity for many moments of glory on stage. Annie's Ordinary Day brought on goose-bumps, Dot's Don't Say Nothing Bad About My Dad cut like a razor and the Act I closer by the company, Destiny, was a powerhouse.
So, should you go see this show? Although still in previews and time factor aside, this show's story telling capacity is supreme and it's designed for anyone who loves storytelling and theatre all wrapped up in one. You'll not only get entertained, but you may learn a few things along the way too. Kudos to the producers, bravo to the performers, and a polite nudge to the obviously talented creatives to tighten things up a bit. Despite the mildly disturbing nature of the material, it's certainly well worth the price of admission.