Imagine if all of life’s moments and insecurities were set to song– that breakup, the birth of a child, a hookup, the awareness of one’s mortality. This is exactly what you get with Richard Malthby Jr.‘s and David Shire’s nontraditional musical, Closer Than Ever. Without a plot or cast of characters, this “bookless book musical” is a collection of songs inspired by the stories and observations of friends and family of lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. that failed to make it into his other productions (Baby and Blood Knot). What links the hodgepodge of these once-rejected self-contained story-songs is the attractive power of adversity to bring people together…closer than ever.
Set to a simple backdrop of a row of doors and the notes of a piano and bass (played effortlessly by Samuel Clein and Rod Verette), actors Jerry Lee, Kristen Heitman, Andrea St. Clair and Nick Adorno use their voices and bodies to fill the intimate Pollack Stage. Each shined in their respective solos and when combined, their voices soared. Songs in the first half are mostly comedic, while the shorter second half tackles more serious themes. Highlights include Heitman’s rendition of “Miss Bird,” Adorno’s and Lee’s take on “Fathers of Fathers,” and the company’s opening number, “Doors.”
This stripped-down musical may lack décor and storyline, but is rich in relatability and charm. It’s the story of all of us.
The Sacramento Theatre Company’s Closer Than Ever runs through February 16:
Wednesdays- 12:30pm & 6:30pm
Saturdays- 2pm & 8pm
Sundays- 2pm & 7pm
For more information, click here. A prologue with Sacramento Theatre Company’s Executive Producing Director, Michael Laun begins 30 minutes before each performance.
*** This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila Khan.