Jesse Cline has a knack for bringing out the best in performers and is especially good at developing young talent. Jason Robert Brown’s musical is a good one about coming of age, to the point of being more astute and more complete than much examples in the genre, and Cline and his young cast made it all affecting.
The find here is Molly Sorenson, who bought a variety of qualities, musical and thespian, to the role of a town misfit who befriends a new kind only to be as disappointed by him as she is with everyone else. Sorenson was consistently genuine and never actory. Best of all, she delivered her lyrics in a way that showed she understood them and wanted her character’s feelings expressed fully. J.D. Triolo, the nonpareil of child actors locally, displayed his usual sincerity and sense of making material realistic. You can see him maturing into a more versatile performer, and he anchored this production beautifully. Two newcomers who had difficult roles because they had to find the humanity in the town tough kid and the comedy in the town’s disabled kid, come through wonderfully. Along with Triolo and Sorenson, I look forward to seeing further work from Michael Wells and Matt Saylor. Read more on Neals Paper >>>
[104 E State St, Media, PA] July 8-31, 2016; mediatheatre.org.