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Striking 12

a Holiday Musical
CATEGORY : MUSICAL
by Brendan Milburn, Rachel Sheinkin, and Varleie Vigoda

COMPANY : Synchronicity Performance Group [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Synchronicity Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 5203

SHOWING : December 30, 2017 - December 31, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

On New Year’s Eve, an over-worked and under-inspired single guy whos had enough of holiday cheer makes a resolution: to stay home and go to bed early. On another New Year’s Eve, a continent away and more than a century earlier, Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Match Girl tries unsuccessfully to sell her matches in the snow. The two stories are brought together when a young woman selling special full-spectrum holiday light bulbs to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder shows up at the grumpy man’s door.

Though the man (who probably could use the bulbs) seems to enjoy the young woman’s company, he sends her away. It’s not until he reads "The Little Match Girl" that he is finally pulled out of his funk. Through simple, unpretentious theater created through the voices and instruments of the performers, "Striking 12" reminds us that the world looks like new on the first day of the year.

All proceeds from this show, hosted at Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown Atlanta, will be donated to The Trevor Project and the Atlanta Children’s Shelter.


CAST & CREW LIST
Keyboard/Vocals Kara Noel Harrington
The Man/Guitar Daniel Burns
Jack/Ensemble Robert Lee Hindsman
SAD Light Seller/Ensemble Paige Mattox
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REVIEWS

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It’s Loud
by playgoer
Monday, January 1, 2018
3.0
I hate amplified voices in small theaters. Too many sound designers and soundboard operators amp up the sound to the point of distortion, perhaps in the mistaken belief that the only way to balance levels is to use the loudest instrument as the highest common denominator and make all voices and instrumental sounds battle it out at that level. "Striking 12" falls firmly into that category, with tinny, overblown sounds blasting into the auditorium. The first comment I overheard during intermission was "it’s loud."

From previous productions, I know that the cast members have excellent voices. I couldn’t tell from this production, though. All I could tell is that their pitches are true. At a couple of points, Robert Hindsman delivered lines away from a microphone with excellent projection, and my ears perked up with pleasure. Then his mouth nearly engulfed the microphone and the tinniness returned.

In this concert production, there are no scenic elements. (The show is played against the set of "Heidi.") Cast and band members are ranged across the stage, with microphones front and center and chairs on either side. The musicians (including male lead Daniel Burns) have stands from which they can read their parts; all actors besides Mr. Burns have memorized their roles completely. Most of the musicians have lines to deliver too, and that they do well.

The story of "Striking 12" is a combination of a modern-day tale of a grump on New Year’s Eve who prefers reading to partying and of Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Little Match Girl." Mr. Burns plays the grump and Emma Palmer McVey plays the Little Match Girl, both with rather colorless sincerity. The color in the show comes from the ensemble playing multiple roles. Paige Mattox winningly portrays a door-to-door salesperson for Seasonal Affective Disorder lightbulbs and takes on other roles with similar charm. Robert Hindsman has a couple of terrific numbers, one lamenting the tiny part his characters play in the overall story, and he delivers on all the possible entertainment the material provides. Kara Noel Harrington, the keyboardist, also scores in a repeated bit with ringtones, and D. Connor McVey, the drummer, gives a powerhouse performance both on the drums and in his interplay with the actors.

Ignoring the sound levels, the musicianship in evidence is of very high quality. There are a few sour notes from the violinist, Cale Brandon, which he acknowledges with a brief, sour expression, but he delivers the virtuosity required by the score with amazing facility. Music played on the bass, by Ian Palmer, and on the guitar, by Mr. Burns, is more straightforward. Keyboard and drums drive much of the score, with excellence throughout.

GrooveLily’s "Striking 12" combines catchy pop-rock songs with a slight, entertaining story. The production playing at Synchronicity Theatre lets the story and charm come through, with excellent music peeking through from the overly loud and distorting amplification. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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