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Narnia, by Jules Tasca, with lyrics by Ted Drachman and music by Thomas Tierney
Disappointing step backwards
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
1.0
I debated whether to post a review of this show or not. When done right, 'Narnia' is a really good musical. And I have enjoyed some other shows at Cobb this year, especially as 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Tom Sawyer'. My dilemma is that my opinion about this show differs so much from some of the other reviews that I felt as if I should write what I think. So here goes my first review!

To me, this 'Narnia' was a mostly bad show. Its pace was slow and choppy, most surprising as the theater's highly touted Artistic Director directed the show himself. Perhaps it was the cast's fault and not the Director's. With a few exceptions, little energy from the cast was evident the night I attended, making the evening needlessly drag on and on and on.

The production qualities were specifically poor. The set was inconsistent and appeared to be slapped together at the last minute. The costumes were not credible for the material and, especially in the case of Aslan's robe, took away my ability to focus on the story.

Some of the performers made 'Narnia' almost redeemable. The White Witch gave a superb performance and I most certainly will come see her again. Aslan gave a tender, dignified performance and showed off his terrific voice. Mr. Beaver was way too over-the-top, enjoyable on occasion but distracting almost always. But he was saved by a terrific Mrs. Beaver, a spunky little firecracker of a woman who gave some much needed energy.

Even so, on balance the acting and singing was below my expectation. I had a very difficult time hearing most of the actors, especially the children. And although there were a few good voices, overall most everyone sang off-key and out of tune. And believe it or not, the singing was better than the acting.

So this, mixed with the sluggish pace and poor technical qualities, made for a long, tedious evening.

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