Turning what we know about morality on its head, Gabrielle James and Joshua Newman’s Living With Sin is an interesting twist on the traditionally 'evil' seven deadly sins. Interposing the stages of grief with the deadly sins, this musical has a solid base with alot of potential.
Unfinished, but has so much potential to be a great musical
After the death of her grandmother, Cece (Lauren Lopez) finds out that her house is haunted by the seven deadly sins, who help her through her grief by getting her life back on track. It’s a clever premise as it turns our assumptions of the sins on its head, but it is overcomplicated for the time that the company has.
The pace and volume of the actors’ mics makes some of the dialogue difficult to follow, as does the double-naming of the sins themselves, so it is not entirely clear who is who, and in the end does not add anything. Using a recording is difficult in itself, but at times the actors’ mics are not loud enough which meant that the recording drowns them out. This is particularly noticeable whenever Louella Lucas (Lust) and Lydia Clay-White (Eadie/Greed) start singing, which is a shame because they are incredible.
The dynamics between the sins are more interesting than the main plotline. This musical hints at a variation of the found family trope, but falls short due to the lack of time spent on developing it. James and Newman have written a good musical, but it does not feel ready to be shown to audiences. There are a few catchy songs that are vibrant - musically and visually - due to the clever way that Newman utilises different styles of music, that add to the personification of the sins themselves.
The cast is talented and have taken their various sins in stride, and even in group numbers, their indivudality comes across. Tabitha Tucker (Emmy/Envy) stands out in particular, not only becasue of the strength of her voice, but in the way that she challenges our assumptions about the sin itself.
Living With Sin is unfinished, but has so much potential to be a great musical. The characters and relationships are established, but some of the songs and dialogue need tweaking in order to make it more polished. There is a lot to work with, but it does look and feel unfinished. A great first draft, this will be one to watch out for.