One of the best perks about living in New York is that you get to see things happening before they get to mainstream America. For example, you get to try new food before it becomes trendy; you can watch an actor perform before she becomes famous and you can see an Off-Broadway show before it becomes a mega-hit. This is what I felt when I saw Desperate Measures, an award-winning musical comedy currently playing at New World Stages in Times Square. Desperate Measures: A Musical Comedy of Errors You’ll Love! (+Giveaway)
The plot is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Very, very loosely. So loosely, in fact, that Peter Kellogg, the book, and lyric writer, has added his own Shakespearean plot lines which he has freely borrowed from other Shakespeare plays, such as Much Ado About Nothing. Another unique aspect in this show is that the dialogue is written in verse, namely rhyming couplets, so essentially it all sounds like one big poem, although, sadly, it’s not in an iambic pentameter (sorry, I couldn’t help myself – inside joke for Shakespeare nerds).
Aside from the witty, rhyming dialogue, the songs are a big part of the show’s charm. The lyrics by Kellogg and the catchy melodies by David Friedman mesh perfectly with the plot. I especially loved “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Lifelong Commitment” and “Just for you”. The songs were so much fun and it was difficult to restrain myself from dancing in my seat (I failed miserably at the show’s finale with the reprise of “Just for You”).
The cast of six were talented and fit perfectly into their respective roles. Nick Wyman who plays the governor pulled off a German accent and was fantastic in his role as the sleazy politician. Conor Ryan and Lauren Molina who play Johnny Blood and Bella Rose had delicious chemistry; their performance in the song “Just for you” was easily the highlight of the show and showcased their flawless comedic timing (their body language was hysterical!). Leading the pack in the role of Sheriff is Peter Saide. Out of the six, he was the most polished with undeniable stage presence and subdued charisma. I’m sure we will hear more of him in the future.
The performance ended with a standing ovation from the entire audience, which was not surprising; the show has won the 2018 Outer Critics Circle and OBA awards for “Best Musical”. It also won the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Best Music & Lyrics. It has all the makings of a cult hit and I honestly can’t imagine how anybody wouldn’t leave the theater smiling, wishing they could see it again.
I was not compensated for this post. I received complimentary tickets to the show.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is a freelance writer and has written for several blogs, including The Huffington Post. She has been living in the New York City area for eighteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 11, 9 and 5) and loves finding great products for her family.