On April 22, Village Theater and its various employees performed their final performance of “String: A New Musical”. The performance at the Village Theater was the world debut, meaning that it was the first time the show was performed publicly, and at first I didn’t know what to think about it. The basic idea of the show is that the three fates from Greek mythology accidentally killed one of Zeus’ mortal girlfriends, and when they refused to bring her back to life, he cursed them to live in the mortal world so they could appreciate the value of life.
I went into the show having no context, and hadn’t even read the summary of the show that was in the programs that had been handed to us at the front door, so I was pleasantly surprised to find how the creators of the show had put such a modern and fun spin on a story that is literally thousands of years old. The main characters, Clotho, played by Sara Porkalob, Lachesis, played by Lauren Du Pree, and Atropos, played by Jessica Skerritt, balanced each other out so well that it felt as though they were actually sisters. Porkalob’s voice was so authentic it encouraged birds on the other side of the world to start singing with her. Not only did she sound good while she was singing, but she also sounded genuine, placing the perfect amount of emphasis on each and every word she sang and I found myself wanting to hear more from her. Du Pree’s acting was almost as forceful as her character’s anger, demanding the attention of the crowd and always perfectly balancing between bold but not so much that the crowd became disconnected with the character. All of the three women performed their parts to perfection but Skerritt stole the show. Her depiction of a first love – and subsequent first heartbreak – smacked every person in the audience in a very personal, private part of their hearts and even had me in tears by the end of the show. The ensemble for this performance in particular was electric, each of the side characters having such depth and interesting personalities that it was almost impossible not to watch them. Every character on the stage was so captivating that I found myself struggling to decide who to watch although my attention almost always gravitated towards Mickey, who was played by Eric Ankrim and was the adorable dork that everyone fell in love with the second he walked on stage.
I, at first, expected the music to be rocky but was pleasantly surprised when it was anything. As I was leaving the theater I found that many people were expressing their disdain that the cast album was nowhere on the internet and I wholeheartedly agreed with them. The greatest song, however, was easily Porkalob’s vending machine song, which was mostly just adorable but had chills running up my arms by the time the mother appeared above all of her children.
I can get a pretty good idea of how a good a show was by listening to people as we leave the theater. In shows I have seen in the past there have certainly been a couple of shows where the audience has walked out in confusion, sadness, or even depression, but this show was none of those. The whole crowd was practically bouncing up and down as we left the theater, everyone talking about their favorite parts and how incredible the ending was.
The show shined a light on every aspect of life. The beginning, the end, and everything in between. I found myself walking away from it with a greater appreciation for the life and the people around me and I felt as though that was exactly what they were aiming for. In the past, the Village Theater has done a couple of World Premieres. Some of them ending with their final performances, and others touring until they eventually made their way to Broadway, the best example of this being the “Million Dollar Quartet” which debuted has gone on to win various Tonys. Before the show had even ended, and when the lights went up for intermission, I leaned over to my mother and the first thing she said to me was “This is going to Broadway,” and I couldn’t have agreed faster. This show is going to high places and I can’t wait to be able to say that I saw it first when it does.