The summer theatre festivals are upon us and I had the chance to take in Julian PO as part of the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). I was initially attracted to this show because it starred some of my favorite performers Chad Kimball, Luba Mason, and Jason Gotay.
When "Julian PO" comes to middle America to end his life, things don't go exactly as planned. In a show about life, dreams, and self-worth, Julian PO has the potential to be an even better than show it was. I was enthralled by the performances given by Chad Kimball as "Julian Po," Luba Mason as "Lilah Leech," Jason Gotay as "Tom Potter," and Sean Cullen as "Henry Leech." Chad's turn as "Julian Po" was great. He really made me feel for his character's hardships and as always, it was a joy to hear him sing. Luba's portrayal of "Lilah Leech," the wife of the town's mayor, "Henry Leech" was superb. She really captured the heartache her character felt and definitely had me cheering by the end. Her vocal quality was prestine. I was so happy she had several featured solos. She deserved them! I have only seen Jason Gotay sing at some of Bobby Cronin's concerts, so to get to see him in a full production was wonderful. His acting and of course singing were delightful to watch. He was on top of his game and it was great to see him steal the spotlight. Sean Cullen also impressed me as the town's mayor, "Henry Leech." I found myself hating his character, but loving the way he brought his character to life.
I think this show has a lot of potential. While I liked the general idea of the book by Andrew Barrett, I would like to see it pulled together a bit more. I think some stories could be cut out to allow other stories to play a bigger role and allow us to really get inside this town even more. I also wanted stronger songs. My favorite thing about going to see a musical is being able to sing the songs long after the show is over. I would like to see that happen with Julian PO. I remember liking certain songs, but I can't recall their names or any of the lyrics. I felt there was real potential for that to happen.
I think Julian Po scores well for a show that is just starting out. I look forward to seeing what is next for Julian Po. For more on Julian Po be sure to visit http://www.julianpo.com.
That's Adam's Call and I Stand For Entertainment!