Ordinary Days

The New York musical is so much of a trope that it could almost be its own genre. Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon is the story of four people, living in the Big Apple and the way that their ordinary lives intersect. Originally premiered in London’s Finborough theatre before an Off-Broadway run, the show didn’t create a huge splash but has gone on to be a favourite production of small companies and, with the right cast can be a beautiful and delightful show. This performance at C venues definitely has the right cast.

A beautiful performance by a talented cast. There’s nothing ordinary about this production.

Directed by Jen Coles, this production makes use of the small stage and limited facilities and gives a real off-Broadway feel with its black-box presentation. Each of the cast gets to shine and, as they’re almost Sondheim-like in their verbiage and lack of relation to the accompaniment, the songs can be really challenging numbers to convey but each performer does a great job of nailing the wordy (and catchy) tunes.

We open on visual artist Warren, played by the charming and talented Neil Cameron who shines with a likeable stage presence. His opening number, One By One, is delivered with humour and a sense of personable self-deprecation that makes the audience instantly warm to him. The rest of the cast soon follow and we meet Nora Perone’s Deb who gives the role the perfect New York neurosis that it requires. She’s got a wonderfully expressive face and her scenes with Cameron spark with a platonic chemistry that’s refreshing to see played so well.

Where there’s a story of a budding friendship between two strangers, the other tale in this piece concerns two lovers struggling with a new stage in their relationship as they move in together. Kirby Hughes as Claire has a powerful voice that gave me shivers and plays perfectly against Alistair Frederick’s Jason who brings a gentle sensitivity to the role.

Ordinary Days is a story about how our lives cross in unexpected ways. There’s no big denouement in this show; just four lives that touch, however briefly, and continue. A beautiful performance by a talented cast. There’s nothing ordinary about this production.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Performances

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The Blurb

Following the parallel lives of four New Yorkers struggling to find meaning in the madness: Claire, who can't let go of her past; Jason, determined to begin their future together; Warren, an artist who's lost his sense of purpose; and Deb, a student who's lost her thesis notes. A witty, poignant, and ultimately very relatable story about human connection and finding beauty in unexpected places. 'Ordinary Days... captures with stinging clarity that uneasy moment in youth when doubts begin to cloud hopes for a future of unlimited possibility' (Charles Isherwood, New York Times).

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