I want to keep this brief, as this show closes on the 23rd November, but I also really enjoyed this show.
Falsettos is by William Finn and James Lapine, and whilst it premiered in America in the 1990s, this is the first time it has been produced here in the UK. It follows Marvin (Daniel Boys) who has recently divorced his wife Trina (Laura Pitt-Pulford) to be with Whizzer (at our performance, Matthew McKenna) – although he wants to keep his awkward family together for the sake of his son Jason (at our performance, James Williams). Throw in a psychiatrist – Mendel (Joel Montague) and some lesbian neighbours (Gemma Knight-Jones and Natasha Barnes) – and the scene is set.
The show started out as two separate pieces, and it does feel like two quite different pieces. Act One feels like a dysfunctional musical comedy, focusing on the fall-out of Marvin and Trina’s divorce, her new relationship with Mendel and Marvin and Whizzer struggling to make their relationship work. However, Act Two has quite the tone shift and focuses more on the Aids crisis in New York and is much (much) more moving.
The performances across the ensemble cast are great. Marvin is a character that is difficult to like, but Daniel Boys is really effective, particularly in Act Two. Laura Pitt-Pulford almost walks away with the show – her I’m Breaking Down in Act One is brilliant. I also especially liked Matthew McKenna as Whizzer, it’s great to see an understudy shine and he felt like he played the part all the time. I also really liked the nifty set, designed by PJ McEvoy.
It was really refreshing to see a show that I didn’t know anything about, and if you can grab a ticket for its final week – I would recommend checking it out.