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2015 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Awake All Night’

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Youth. Vivacity. Not words usually associated with a subject as ancient as Greek gods. Itai Yasur’s Awake All Night, however, presents a new Capital Fringe Festival musical with a young, fresh cast about Greek gods, unrequited love, and the struggle and joy of creating art.

In Awake All Night, Greek messenger god Hermes attempts to harness his remarkable rhyming skills and musical talent – he did, after all, invent the world’s first instrument- to win over the affections of college student and aspiring costume designer Ariadne. Unfortunately for him, and yet unknown to her, Ariadne belongs to her own, entirely separate Greek myth, and their relationship is doomed by distance and this inevitability.

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This new musical, written entirely in rhyming verse, takes place during one long distance phone call between Hermes and Ariadne—you guessed it— all night. Actors Garrett Matthews and Bailey Drew breathe fresh life into these otherwise unnoticed mythical beings. Matthews brings a boyish charm to the messenger god, his voice soaring above the audience as if on Hermes’ wings. As Ariadne, Drew shines, and her clear, pop voice lends itself well to Yasur’s infectious score. At times though the music jumps around as much as the character’s thoughts, leaving us racing to find some melody to hold onto, jumping instead from one impressive rhyme to another like Dr. Seuss meets Sondheim.

Yasur also directed the piece, infusing it with bits of comedy and sorrow as appropriate. Some acting in the songs seemed forced and self-indulgent when delivered to the fourth wall, but ultimately it is the great chemistry between the actors which is the highlight of the show.

Awake All Night, just like the characters, is reaching for the sky! Don’t miss this entertaining new musical!

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Running Time: 60 minutes.

Awake All Night plays through July 25, 2015 at Brookland Artspace Lofts Studio — 3305 8th St. NE, in Washington, DC. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their Capital Fringe page.

RATING: BEST OF THE 2015 CAPITAL FRINGE FOUR-AND-A-HALF-STARS10.gif

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