a brother/sister rock musical
Bloomington Playwrights Project Theatre
May 17, 18, 23 – 25 & May 30 – June 1, 2013 at 7:30pm
Spun at the Bloomington Playwrights Project is a very funny, touching brother-sister story. The book and lyrics are by long time Bloomington theatre veteran, currently decamped to Detroit, Emily Goodson. The music and lyrics are by Jeremy Schonfeld. A couple of years ago the BPP’s audience was treated to his Kissing Frogs.
David Sheehan played Jesse, the brother. Sheehan is an IU student with plenty of appearances on campus and at the BPP. Most recently he played the master mind Christof in the joint production of The Truman Show. Brook Wood, an award winning singer and IU musical theatre grad, played Molly, the younger sister. Recent roles at IU were in Rent and Cabaret.
Spun opens with Molly clearing out the very messy garage created by set designer Shane Cinal. As she’s working, her brother taps her on the shoulder in his first visit in years. Surprised, the nervous sister greets him, with a blast of pepper spray. Jesse and Molly’s relationship is full of these moments of tentative connection, misunderstanding and connection. Playwright Goodson has a real feel for the brother sister dynamic. Sheehan and Wood feel it as well. Their scenes are frequently very funny.
Years ago, while the two had sneaked off to play a gig, their mother committed suicide in the garage. Jesse freaked out. He says he offered to take Molly with him. Molly says that he didn’t. Their memories as they sift through the past together and their lives since are frequently humorously at odds. They can’t even agree on whether a lamp that they installed in the garage was red or blue. Lighting designer Lee Burkes follows their argument, dutifully switching the colors back and forth.
Spun is in the mode of a rock musical with music director Eric Anderson Jr. sitting in with the trio Kentucky Nightmare for the show. Some of Jeremy Schonfeld’s songs flow with the action and some are set apart. Both Sheehan and Wood are good singers. Sheehan is more the balladeer and Wood the musical theatre singer, but they both can rock. Their duets were the musical high points of the show.
Direction of this very enjoyable, funny and even thoughtful show is by the BPP’s artistic producing director Chad Rabinovitz.