BOHO’s MYTHS & HYMNS Much More Than Just A Myth
REVIEWED BY: JUSTIN ALLAN KIMBALL
When I found out I was reviewing “Myths and Hymns’ at the BOHO Theatre I looked up what exactly this musical was about and other productions of this particular show. I could not find very many at all, however I found that it was written by Adam Guettel (Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins) so I was very excited to see what this show had in store. I was… a little underwhelmed. Myths and Hymns is a musical review show with no plot line taking old myths/hymns and putting them into a more modern setting. It combines the beautiful words of classic works and attempts to give them a relatable twist. It tries to illustrate the connection between these gods and man through music.
First off, director (Peter Robel) did a fantastic job with this work. It is just not often performed for a reason. It is one of those shows that at first you are trying to find some story to hold on to but then you give up and just try to forage for something you enjoy. What I found was the singing. This ensemble had range for days. When the entire ensemble sang together it was incredibly powerful yet oddly subtle at the same time. The slow paced nature of the production allowed for amazing connections with the audience that kept me intrigued (when I had very little idea really what was going on). The song “Come to Jesus” sang by Matt Mcnabb and Stephanie Souza was incredibly genuine and gave me that lump in my throat for a second. However, this slow paced nature did make a few moments very mechanical looking. When the performers were really connecting and singing it made the theater feel enormous but when they became mechanical with their movements the theater became too small for all the people on stage.
When I first saw the setting of this play on the stage I very much enjoyed Scenic director’s (Eleanor Kahn) choice to take the simplicity route of just two large white sheets hanging from the ceiling intertwined. Especially since it is a smaller theater, it made for a very personal setting. However, as the show went on I found them to be both a very fun way to change settings and a rather impractical one. The audience had to wait many times for a piece of cloth to be hung while nothing else was happening on the stage. If that could just be cleaned up or covered up a bit better it would have helped with the pacing of this musical.
Overall, this is a musical worth seeing for the amazing work that has been put into it. Even though I am not a huge fan of the musical itself the talent of the director, ensemble and scenic designer absolutely makes the 10 dollar ticket MORE than worth it. This type of work should be supported because it is risky and pushes these performers/technicians to be better.
BoHo Theatre’s “Myths & Hymns” will be running June 15th-July13th. Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm. You can get tickets at www.BohoTheatre.com or 866.811.4111.