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Connecticut Theater

"Another Day in Paradise"
Downtown Cabaret, Bridgeport

It’s too bad that “Another Day in Paradise” has visited Downtown Cabaret for such a brief stay. We can only hope that this enchanting mini-musical will surface at another neighboring venue in the near future.

“Another Day in Paradise” is the ironic title which describes the dilemma of one woman (and perhaps every modern woman). It follows her saga through career, marriage and motherhood, attempting to juggle all three and using song and dialogue to tell the story.

Three gifted performers—Tracey Marble, Laurie Sondermeyer, and Trisha Turiano—all play the role of this embattled woman, serving at times as alter egos. All three are absolute pros, with body language, voices, and characterizations right on target.

The book by Karen Randazzo provides a strong through line. The woman, appearing as a harried housewife/mother, arrives at a psychotherapist’s door. (The therapist never appears, but Randazzo herself provides Dr. Dietz’s voice-over.) Gradually the woman’s past history emerges—early disastrous relationships, a budding show-biz career, courtship, marriage, child adoption, childbirth, the waning of romance, the yearning for a career.

This is not new material. It is, in fact, Everywoman’s story. But Randazzo and company package it beautifully. Director Gary John La Rosa and musical director Phil Hall manage a brisk pace, keeping the cast moving smoothly and interweaving solos, duets, and trios with sharp dialogue. There is never a lag, never a moment of boredom for the audience. Along with dialogue, the songs (many written by Tracey Marble) heighten the story. Among the Marble songs are “Falling Apart,” “Back on the Couch,” and “Babe in Burbland Blues.” Karen and Peter Randazzo provide “He’s My Husband,” with additional pieces by other songwriters.

If any criticism can be made, it is that the players are over-miked. The miking works well for quiet songs and for solos, but garbles the words in the big numbers. This is too bad, because the lyrics are so sharp, funny, and to the point. “Paradise” would undoubtedly work better in a supper club setting or intimate theater, an appearance which one hopes will be forthcoming in the near future.

-- Irene Backalenick
May 19, 2007

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