Theater Online - New York Theater Reviews

Cast Members
Ryan Stadler
Kelly Nichols
Liza Poor
Edward Campbell
Mark Dunn
Benjamin Holmes
Marvin Riggins Jr.
Fly Out Menu
Open: 07/17/10- Close: 07/29/10 Ten Reasons I Won't Go Home With You
Reviewed for By: Andrew Cohen

Dating in New York City is hell!  There are eight million people but not one Mister Right.  Urban loneliness has been and will continue to be the subject of myriad stories.  The compendium of horrors and hotties, dinners and blowjobs, failures and triumphs could fill many a stage.  To fill it successfully one just needs an audience of heartbroken singles (√) and some originality and wit ( ).  Kelly Nichols’ Ten Reasons I Won’t Go Home With You also lacks drama as the heroine Katie goes through dud after dud and the reasons she won’t go home with them.  If there were any sort of urgency or romanticism or passion that propelled Katie on her quest for love, we may have found her plight entertaining.  Instead, she just whines her way from one wrong guy to the next unable to get what she wants.

Ten Reasons is billed as a rebounding new musical, and indeed, it does contain many songs.  Some help tell the story, some detract from it, some are wonderful, and some atrocious.  This inconsistency results from the sheer number of songwriters on the team: seven.  There are, however, three songs that deserve mention for providing a few moments of great writing and interest in the midst of the dating drag.  In “Worse Things” by Jason Purdy, Melissa, Katie’s best friend, tells Katie that next to genocide and herpes being single does not look too awful.  Katie encounters three horny men at a night out on the town who have a one—well make that two—track mind in the raucous “Pizza and Sex,” with music by Phillip Chernyak and lyrics by Blake Hackler.  Hackler also wrote the lyrics for the excellent “Capture a Queen”—music by Steven Silverstein—where Katie finally finds someone she can seemingly relate to only to realize by the song’s end that he’s geeky, freaky, and unhealthily obsessed with The Lord of the Rings.

Katie is played by the very likable Kelly Nichols.  Nichols must carry the show, and it’s a good thing she exudes a certain sweetness because her singing is often pitchy and her acting, though serviceable, lacks any complexity.  With the exception of the talented Ryan Stadler, the rest of the cast is similarly unimpressive.  They seemed to be at least giving it their all though, unlike the director, Billy Mitchell.  While I feel I must mention his lack of vision, the foremost issue is his lack of basic craft.  The awkward transitions, the sloppy blocking, and the heinous design concept were all downright lazy.

 Even stage management was on board the lazy train at the performance I attended.  After the curtain speech, there was an awkward two minutes between the first sound cue and the light cue that should have come right on top of the sound cue to bring in the music for the first song.  After around a minute and a half, a man sitting behind me yelled, “pick up the pace.”  Then around ten minutes into the show, while executing some choreography reminiscent of summer camp productions during the song “Musical Theatre God,” one of the performers kicked over the music director’s stand and clip light.  While the music kept playing and the actors kept singing, the stand kicker and clip light destroyer had to fix it all during the number.  It was the best part of the show!

June Havoc Theatre : 312 West 36th Street, First Floor