Reviewed by Peggy Freeman
The Storm – An original pop-rock musical
Written by Kate Nelson, Executive Producer Brent Nelson and Directed by Phyllis Larrymore-Kelly
The people of Balfonte are caught in a devastating storm that parallels the storms in their lives. The small town bands together with the aid of local police (Alan Waserman, Anthony Cotton, Derrick Johnson and Vince Hall) and armed forces (Mel Hampton, Alan Waserman and Angel Lassalle, Alphonse Mouzon, Rodney Quince, Dain August and Cameron Calloway) while waiting for relief. If only teenage Crystal (Jade Bates and Ashley Ruiz) had listened to her mother Wanda (Diann Shumate, Dorothy Morrison and Ronna Jones) and not gone to the party that evening maybe things would have turned out differently for Crystal and her friends (Jaki Nelson, Jocelyn Garrett, Ashley Ruiz, Jade Bates, Brynn Chamblee, Brianna Nealeigh and Royce).
Fear, disaster, love and faith are portrayed with a musical theme of hope. Original songs written by Kate Nelson and produced by musical director Steve Bauman were nicely arranged for a pop generation of teenage dancers whose moves were expertly choreographed by Earth Robinson and Raymond Matsamura.
From young children (Saniah Shumate and Rachel Tsymbalov and Cionelle Fabaiana-Sultan) to seniors (Adam Zarovski, Ty Parr, Diann Shumate, Howard Sachnoff and Dorothy Morrison) the actors professionally play their roles in many acts of interesting comedy and drama.
While waiting for the storm to subside the cast reenact scenes of love between a young couple, teenage abuse, sexual assault against a hearing impaired teen (Raquel McPeek) and the guilt of a teen whose parents died in a horrible accident. Banding together through the storm is what keeps their dreams alive even if antagonist, Avia (Jocelyn Garrett) refuses to believe Elle (Jaki Nelson) is not trying to steal her boyfriend Kevin (Robert X. Golphin).
Through The Storm a heroic army helps find food and much needed drinking water. Finally the bus arrives to pick them up and stardom is attained for a young group of singers and hip hop and pop performers (Cameron Calloway and Lij Kerai, Hunter Krikac and Dain August) who make their way to Hollywood after the disaster is over. Concert M.C., Rae’Van Kelly engages the audience between performance acts.
The Storm is entertaining from the beginning to end and the story is wonderfully presented with superb acting, singing and dancing from the cast. Behind the scene smooth set changes and great props were displayed.
Noho Theater March 9- March 24, 2012