This year’s joint Bloomington Playwrights Project-IU Musical Theatre Program collaboration is a classy premiere of The Truman Show: A Musical. It’s based on the 1998 movie that stared Jim Carrey.
Once again the innocent Truman is the center of attention in an international TV program created by the wily Christof in the world of Seahaven, and this time Truman is singing.
The book and lyrics are by Brad Bauner with music by Alexander Gemignani. The music is well delivered by the strong cast of IU students. It’s mostly in declamatory mode that doesn’t relax much even in the occasional moments reflection. The first act that sets things up is the most successful and varied. The second act relies on reprises and may well be offer a bit more breathing room and be more fleshed out in future productions..
Nat Zegree was an engagingly unaware Truman. Chloe Williamson was his brittle wife of eight years. Claire Drews had the majority of the show’s comic moments as Truman’s curmudgeonly, manipulative mother. Maddie Shea Baldwin was the rebel actress who’s caught his eye. Kurt Semmler brought a bit of warmth to the role of Truman’s best friend. David Sheehan played the conflicted TV master mind Christof.
Direction is by guest Kent Nicholson with the BPP’s Chad Rabinovitz. Musical direction is by Eric Anderson. Set design for Truman’s world of Seahaven and Christoph’s control room are by David Wade.
If you have fond memories of the original film, this will be a opportunity to revisit the characters and the themes. If you haven’t seen the movie, this can stand by itself or be a nice introduction.
The Truman Show: A Musical
Music by Alexander Gemignani Lyrics by Brad Bauner Based on the original film by Andrew Niccol Directed by Kent Nicholson scenic Design by David Wade
Bloomington Playwrights Project Theatre
Feb 1-2, 7-9, 14-16 @ 7:30p & Feb 3 & 10 @ 2pm,