Home

Broadway Discounts

Broadway Group Discounts

AboutTell a Friend
Broadway Review Archive

Broadway Discounts


BROADWAY REVIEWS 39 Steps, The
A Steady Rain
Billy Elliot
Burn the Floor

Bye Bye Birdie

Chicago
God of Carnage
Hair

Hamlet
In the Heights
Jersey Boys
Lion King, The
Mamma Mia!
Mary Poppins
Mary Stuart
Next to Normal

Oleanna

Phantom of the Opera, The

Royal Family, The
Rock of Ages

Shrek
South Pacific
Superior Donuts
West Side Story
Wicked

Wishful Drinking

 

OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Altar Boyz
Avenue Q
Blue Man Group
Celebrity Autobiography
Fuerzabruta
Perfect Crime
Stomp
Toxic Avenger

VARIETY GLORY DAYS REVIEW

 


Newsday Review

Glory Days

by David Rooney

 

An irritating offshoot of the digital revolution is that it's democratized the filmmaking process, opening the floodgates for kids straight out of school with no life experience and no stories to tell to start making navel-gazing movies. Beyond the small-time local level or the ubiquitous solo show, theater is mostly spared that indignity because it costs more, requires more collaborators and demands an audience. But occasionally, one such immature self-indulgence slips through, such as "Glory Days," which slipped all the way through to Broadway.


Penned by novice composer-lyricist Nick Blaemire and book writer James Gardiner, both in their early 20s, this earnest but insipid pop musical concerns four high school buddies reunited what seems like minutes after graduation to discover that the bonds of their friendship have begun to dissolve. It's the kind of story that, with better writing, might have made a poignant single-episode arc on "Freaks and Geeks," but even then requiring a second-tier supporting thread.

 

Given a modest production at Virginia's Signature Theater earlier this year, the show received encouraging reviews from D.C. critics, but nobody appeared to be saying this larva was ready for mainstream metamorphosis. The producers have done an extreme disservice to the inexperienced creative team by shoving them into the spotlight with what's likely to be a commercial embarrassment.

 

While it doesn't have much spark, the show will probably hold some charm for anyone still immersed in the adolescent experience and could find admirers in youth theater or school productions. But high-stakes Broadway is a cruel stepping-stone.

 

Following "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" into the Circle in the Square was another bad idea. Aside from passing similarities in Blaemire's tunes to the music of William Finn, "Glory Days" also purports to be about the awkward outsiders and unathletic kids shut out of the popular cliques. While "Spelling Bee" offered tender insights into that stigmatized condition and the means to survive it, this show barely skims the surface.

 

In addition to Finn, Blaemire and Gardiner appear heavily influenced by Jonathan Larson, down to the use of a central narrator much like filmmaker Mark in "Rent." "I am the glue that holds us together/Observer, inventor and sole documenter," sings aspiring writer Will (Steven Booth) about the friends who are the subject of his story.

 

Will is the sensitive guy, Skip (Adam Halpin) is the military brat who rebelled into mellowness, Andy (Andrew C. Hall) is the obnoxious failed jock, and Jack (Jesse JP Johnson) is the quiet, undersized bully magnet. No prizes for guessing which one will be coming out one or two songs from now. Or which one will take the news badly.

 

The slender conflict stems mainly from the quest to locate a key to the sprinkler system, allowing the guys to set it off during the first annual alumni football game and get revenge on the players who made their lives hell in high school. And then there's Jack's revelation in "Open Road," a disclosure that sends waves of trauma through the group. But the whimpering drama is neither satisfyingly explored nor resolved.

 

Jack's song is one of the better efforts among Blaemire's generic, talky numbers, largely because something has actually happened to him since school that's worth singing about. Elsewhere, the awkwardly inarticulate lyrics just string together platitudes about formative memories, bonding experiences, feeling at home and fearing change, but it's nostalgia without the wisdom of hindsight.

 

The songs with a message to impart are worse, however, notably "Other Human Beings," in which Jack responds to a harsh slur: "There are certain things/You never do to other human beings/That no one needs to learn/Cuz it's part of who we are." Huh?

 

Anonymously directed by Signature a.d. Eric Schaeffer, the show is staged on a minimal set of bleachers backed by a wall of football field lights.

 

"Glory Days" attempts to mythologize high school into a mystical place and a time of innocent, uncomplicated pleasures for four kids now standing nervously on the cusp of adulthood -- which might have worked if a couple of Breakfast Clubbers, Romy and Michelle or even those adorable eunuchs of "High School Musical" had been around to provide depth, humor or fun. But while the interchangeable cast members are affable, not untalented performers, they are out of their depth trying to stamp a personality on this one-dimensional material.

 

 

 

COMING UP:
MEMPHIS
Sign up and you could win FREE TICKETS!

 

UPCOMING SHOWS:

OCT 2009
19 - Memphis
22 - After Miss Julie
25 - Brighton Beach Memoirs
29 - Finian's Rainbow

NOV 2009
15 - Ragtime
19 - In The Next Room . . .
23 - Fela!

DEC 2009
6 - Race
10 - Broadway Bound
13 - A Little Night Music

SIGN UP to get reviews emailed to you!

 

SHOW INFORMATION:

Perf Schedule:

Schedule varies

 

Tickets:
$97.50
Call: 212-239-6200
Click here to buy now.

Show Run Time:
90 minutes with no intermission

 

Theatre Information:
Circle in the Square
235 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10019

 

 
 

Review GuideTell a Friend


DidHeLikeIt.com is the top Broadway resource for reviews of Broadway plays and musicals. We provide show reviews from The New York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Variety, and more! DidHeLikeIt.com also provides Broadway and Off-Broadway show information and ticket information.