THE best thing about "Glory Days" is that it lasts 90 minutes. But those 90 (intermissionless) minutes seem longer than all of "Tristan and Isolde" without Wagner.
This self-indulgent hymn to the problems of early post-adolescence (male gender variety) opened last night, just in time to be eligible for this year's Tony Awards.
It probably could have marinated another decade or so.
In Broadway's own glory days, there was a curious entity known as a "vanity production," put on either by an ambitious playwright or the sugar daddy (or real daddy) of an ambitious actor or actress.
The show would run a week or so with little collateral damage apart from the financial loss of a few misguided ticket buyers. Nowadays, the cost of putting on a Broadway show has made the vanity production virtually extinct.
But along comes "Glory Days," presumably not even a vanity production, coming as it does from a well-regarded theater in Arlington, Va., and written by two 23-year-olds (one just turned 24).
The book is by James Gardiner, and the music and lyrics are by Nick Blaemire, whose Playbill bio reads, "Can't believe this is happening. Not one bit."
Well, neither can we.
The music is difficult to describe and utterly unmemorable (it certainly has nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen's hit of the same name), and the lyrics are jejune. The story is of four friends who, a year after their high school graduation, meet again in the bleachers of their old football field.
The dramatic tension comes first from whether these former buddies will rig the sprinkler system to humiliate the hated football jocks playing a charity game the next day.
More drama emerges when one (or is it two?) of the eroding quartet comes out of the closet. This seems to be a big deal, even a big surprise.
The performances by Steven Booth, Andrew C. Call, Adam Halpin and Jesse JP Johnson are high-spirited and, for the first five minutes, engaging.
But it wasn't long before I found myself wishing that they would turn on the sprinklers and let us go home to read a good book.
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