Photo by Don Kellogg

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Next Thing You Know

Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham take a walk down Twenty-Something Lane with their fresh, new gen-X musical.  Well, of course they do, the are twenty-something themselves and if I had to guess, wrote from many a personal experience.  The subject matter and title, Next Thing you Know, comes from that age-old phrase we all know - "Last time I checked, I was young and having a blast on my 23rd birthday and .... here it comes... next thing i know, I'm 30 and need to grow up".  That about sums up the story line here.  Fear not, tho, it's light, fresh, honest, fun and while never over indulging.  Salzman and Cunningham even turn a hangover into something to chuckle at.

Needless to say, a cast of good looking (drop dead gorgeous in the case of Heath Calvert, but I digress...) actors helm the spacious performance floor (not exactly a traditional stage) in CAP21 Theatre Company's brand-spankin' new expanded space on West 18th Street.  Lauren Blackman (Lisa), Heath Calvert (Luke), Adam Kantor (Darren) and Lauren Molina (Waverly) enthusiastically take on their respective tortured young souls - singing and drowning their sorrows in booze in the Sullivan Street Tavern and surrounding neighborhood.  It's not hard at all to imagine these young denizens as the actual characters - good looking (did i mention that Heath with his shirt off is jaw-droppingly handsome?), smart, creative, young urbanites searching for love, connection, and meaning in their lives.

Besides Heath's drop dead good looks and flawless body (OK, Adam I really thought you were cute too), I was especially entertained by the music and lyrics.  Well written, well constructed, catchy and fun - a little pop (OK, maybe a lot) and a few ballads and lite Broadway styled numbers thrown in for good measure too. I believe this is Joshua and Ryan's second trip down the aisle in musical theatre composition.  I'm thoroughly impressed and sincerely hope that we will hear more from them very soon.   In the meantime - catch a bus, subway or cab over to CAP21 and catch a slice of your quickly vanishing youth performed nightly on stage before it's too late and ... next thing you know....