Blood Brothers

Yesterday I went to see a rather small and local production of one of the longest running Broadway shows in history; Blood Brothers, a tale of two brothers separated at birth due to the struggle of the times. Suffice it to say, the play was fantastic and the actors were absolutely BRILLIANT. The female lead playing the role of Mrs. Johnston reduced me to tears almost immediately and it must be mentioned that yes, I do have seasonal allergies and yes they were acting up, but halfway through the play the tears didn’t stop. And I don’t mean that in a negative sense at all, Mrs. Johnston had a certain theatrical flair that I am proud to say I was in awe of. Near the end of the 2nd act, during the death scene of the two boys, when she completely broke down and had an emotional moment, there were tears in my eyes; tears that I can safely say were with me until the absolutely end.

In terms of the other actors, the roles of Mickey and Eddie were played perfectly. You could easily see that the two actors clearly had some sort of history, and if not, then my saying so is even more proof of their talent and ability. Additional points of interest in regards to the actors include the actor playing Sammy, and the actor playing the Mrs. Lyons. To begin with Sammy is not a difficult role to play, all one really needs to be is angry and upset at the world while simultaneously maintaining a slight hope that someone (namely your brother) has your back and will not give up on you. So as you can see, that earlier line was a bit of sarcasm, and by “bit” I mean A LOT. Sammy was done PERFECTLY, and as I saw him grow up from an excitable young child into a bitter and slightly deranged man, I was actually able to feel his pain. That’s part of the reason why I like Sammy. He’s a character that we can relate to, he’s undergone severe hardships, but he clearly doesn’t give up. The only difference between Sammy and the regular theatre going audience is that they (hopefully) haven’t completely gone mad and they haven’t decided to resort to petty theft to get on a bus (though that may have been a colloquial portrayal, hmm?).

NOW we get to the IMPORTANT role: Mrs. Lyons who I’ve begun referring to as the “Insane psycho lady who damn well loses her mind and is CRAZY.” Quite a mouthful? Yes; but if you’re willing to coddle your child and not let them be free for their ENTIRE lives, you’ll have people like me wishing they could jump in and stop you from ruining yet ANOTHER life. The actor playing Mrs. Lyons was BEYOND fantastic; she delivered each and every line with that spark of insanity that hides behind the eyes of few actors. With Eddie, she was soft and mothering, with anyone else? Not so much and that was BRILLIANT to be seen done well.

However, the performance had ONE problem, and I cannot go further without mentioning him; the narrator. Specifically, the way the narrator was constantly reintroduced. To begin with, the actor did a fantastic job narrating and whatever “acting” he had to do, don’t get me wrong, he’s a great “actor.” However my issue was not his acting ability, quite the contrary, my issue was his singing ability. He had ONE song to sing, and he did it poorly; after that, whenever he would sing a variation of the tune due to this narrative requirements, his singing skills (or lack thereof) caused me a great deal of stress and pain. So long story (in summary, etc.) he needs to learn how to sing. Acting? No, he’s got that in the BAG.

Another qualm I had with the play, and once again this has to do with the narrator, was the narrator’s odd inability to take the scene seriously. I personally believe it’s a matter of youth and not a matter of performance. The narrator was significantly younger than I was expecting and he didn’t have that certain gruff that humans generally gain over a lifetime of severity and hardships. However, apart from those details, the play was certainly fantastic.

As always, this has been your Admin, and DO remember! Always look on the byte side of life!

-EK


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