Even with the low expectations I had going into this off-Broadway musical about group therapy sessions, I was disappointed. It’s not the most exciting of topics, but I thought there might be some interesting or humorous characterizations. The show, it turns out, is just downright bad. So bad, in fact, I was jealous of all the obligation-free audience members who were able to scurry away at intermission. And since I did my duty and stayed until the final applause, here is my interpretation of what went wrong:
First, the costumes: It my seem like a petty point to begin with, but when the central drama of the show is based around the potential for inappropriate doctor/patient relations due to the seductive, scandalizing outfits of a patient, and those outfits are mentioned over and over again (and the good doctor actually has to look away lest he succumb to temptation), it is important the outfits are at least moderately appealing or scandalous. These were neither, and I shudder recalling Leila’s clunky shoes and matted hairpiece.
Second, the storylines: Each patient has one, each more stereotypical than the last. For example, Mary is a cancer survivor who gets beat up and killed by her police officer husband. And then she sings about loyalty from beyond the grave. Gross.
Third, the choreography: The dancing in the big numbers was like the mentally challenged cousin of the square dance. There was a lot of crossing the stage and weaving, turning around, and standing in formation.
I’d like to take this time to apologize to my date. Sorry, Danny.