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Monday, 23 July 2012 23:22

NYMF Review: FOREVERMAN

Written by
Omar Lopez-Cepero (l) and Adam Monley Omar Lopez-Cepero (l) and Adam Monley Photo: Wagner Photography

Being immortal is the subject matter of my latest outing at the 9th New York Musical Theatre Festival.  The musical Foreverman, with music, lyrics and book by Brett M. Boles takes place over the course of almost 200 years and tells its story by going back and forth in time between the mid 1600s and the mid 1800s.  This is the most ambitious work I have seen at the festival this season. 

Foreverman has an interesting idea and a workable framework in place.  It has a melodic score with lovely orchestrations by Stephen Ferri, Andrew Fox, and Adam Michael Kaufman.  

Foreverman begins in 1676 in England with two men, alchemists Will (Omar Lopez-Cepero) and Jack (Adam Monley), discovering a formula that when mixed with a drop of one's own blood and drunk, will give the drinker eternal life.  They mix this potion and each drink it.  Each man holds half of the formula on a piece of paper.   This way, should they have a falling out, they will still need to rely on each other to contribute their portion of the formula.  

The two men do indeed have a falling out and end act one in a duel to the death. This doesn't go unnoticed by Will, who, in one of the many funny lines in the show comments "a duel to the death between immortals?"

While set in the 1600s, a young woman, Fiona (Kelly McCormick) comes to them because she is dying and wants to be their “apprentice.”  During the 1800s there is a Fiona as well, her mother (Glory Crampton as Anna) is ill and is being tended to unsuccessfully by Jack using his half of the potion.

At the same time, Will is returning to his mansion after a 200 year absence.  He arrives with the nanny who raised him, Mrs. Morgan (Karen Elliot).  She’s also immortal after drinking the final portion of the original potion to keep Jack from getting his hands on it.

Mrs. Morgan and a devoted farmhand by the name of Hawkins (Larry Cahn) are the comedic couple in this musical.  Hawkins is one of a long line of Hawkins who have kept Will’s secret safe for generations.  It seems that Mrs. Morgan also happened to have a fling with another Hawkins from a previous century.

There needs to be a cleaner delineation between the Fionas.  In the playbill, director Stephen Nachamie says “this show explores the four paths to immortality: staying alive, reincarnation, the belief in the soul and creating a legacy – each character has a different road to follow in their quest.”  Each of these characters is clear in where they fit in the director’s interpretation of the piece, except Fiona. She is reincarnated, but you have to read the director’s note to understand his intention.

The entire cast give solid performances. As Will, Omar Lopez-Cepero brings a fine singing voice and passion to the role.  Adam Monley brings Jack to life with a rakish charm and intensity.  Gloria Crampton as Anna has a lovely singing voice showcased in the songs “I Want to See the Bastille” and “Anna’s Choice.”  Kelly McCormick is endearing in the role of Fiona. She too has a lovely singing voice.  

Foreverman has real potential and good bones. Mr. Boles and Mr. Nachamie need to find a deeper distinction, or correlation, between 1600s Fiona and 1800s Fiona and a way to make each century distinct.  This will make Foreverman flow better and give it greater clarity.

Congratulations to this team on a job well done.

Additional Info

  • Theatre: PTC Performance Space
  • Theatre Address: 555 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036
  • Show Style: Musical
Last modified on Saturday, 28 July 2012 20:35