Falsettoland

The history of Falsettoland goes back to 1979, when the show 'In Trousers' opened at the off-Broadway hub of Fringe theatre, Playwrights Horizons. For that was to be the start of the 'Falsettos' trilogy spanning the shows 'In Trousers', 'March Of The Falsettos' and 'Falsettoland', in which composer William Finn explores lives of Marvin, his son Jason, his gay ex-lover Whizzer, his wife Trina and her new boyfriend, Mendel. Although there is a clear development of the story across the three shows, each stands on its own so that you don’t necessarily have to have seen the previous two before getting to Falsettoland.This show revolves around plans for Jason’s Bar Mitzvah, a pivotal day in any Jewish household – if only for the parents and not the boy concerned. Marvin’s split from his wife and her involvement with another man is already complicating matters enough before the arrival of Whizzer, who Jason idolises and Marvin quickly realises he still does too. Their relationship is re-kindled, but as so many did in the era this play is set in, Whizzer falls sick. It’s a fast a frenetic piece that suits the Fringe well, although it’s never really found mass appeal beyond its limited run in New York in the early 90s. Here then, is a scarce chance to see it staged, and whilst an obscure show like Falsettoland isn’t going to set the Fringe alight, I do recommend it. The cast are confident and talented, filling every crevice of the George 2 hut with sound and they have the kind of energy that’ll have you at the bar afterwards asking “for whatever they’re on”. There were minor first-night pitch problems, and the material strays into some terrible musical clichés sometimes, but showtunes fans should include it in their schedule as the opportunity is a rare one.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

Marvin leaves his wife for his male lover, while his psychiatrist moves in with his ex-wife. But on the eve of his son's Bar Mitzvah can he hold the family together for one last celebration with each other? www.selladoor.com