The trials and tribulations of puberty, the struggle for independence, and the discovery of one’s personal identity are experiences to be wrestled with by all teens as an essential right-of-passage into adulthood. But for many, those difficult milestones are tainted with the toxicity of neglect and abuse. One Day, the Musical, co-directed by author and songwriter, Michael Sottile and choreographer, Ray Leeper, takes us through a heart-wrenching journey of the American “troubled teen”.
With two decades of stories from the real-life journal entries of teens, we’re allowed into their hearts and minds through music and dance performed by Brenna Bloom, Chase O’Donnell, Marco Ramos, Honey Ribar, Aaron Scheff, Austin Scott, Ben Shuman, Andy Spencer, Aliya Stuart, Nyseli Vega, and Charlotte Mary Wen accompanied by musicians Keith Harrison, Justin Rothberg, Matt Cusack, Michalina, and Madeline Meyers.
As a mother of three children who have all nearly made it through to the other side, I was gutted by the emotional devastation relayed by these performers who so kindly and compassionately portrayed the human suffering with a vulnerability that is quite gutsy. I was particularly moved by Honey whose rawness was beautifully balanced by Chase’s self-deprecating oblivion. “Golden Boy”, Austin Scott and “Faggot”, Marco Ramos encapsulated what I’ve observed to be the reality for so many young men today- basically told by their parents and society that they are not enough no matter what they are if they don’t confine themselves to the tiny little box of accepted norms.
Video production designer, Andrew Lazarow, added tremendous value in the story-telling aspect of the musical, incorporating the words written as journal entries of these teens and displaying social media posts that serve to connect us and sadly sometimes wreck lives behind the safety of a screen.
They say that “youth is wasted on the young”. On the contrary, only the young can possibly endure youth. With life rushing at you, particularly in a society driven by social media, agility, adaptability and most of all, idealism, forgiveness, and hope are what get you through the angst, loneliness, and despair that bombard the fragile hearts and minds of the not-quite-fully-developed fledglings who yearn to fly.With a limited engagement until March 1, #OneDayTheMusical is being performed downtown at 80 Greenwich in the fantastic space, 3LD Art & Technology. It is an honest portrayal of the American youth in crisis with the resounding truth that love is the answer to all of the questions.
Review By: Michele Seven
Photos By: Bob Degus