Almost Together, the dynamic one-woman show performed by Community Theater veteran Mary Leaphart and directed by Steven Cupo, aims to chronicle its protagonist’s experience with bipolar disorder, but it constitutes less a narrative of mental illness than a musical expression of its chief symptoms: the highs and the lows, the despair and the ecstasy, and the oppressive sense that you are, and always will be, inexorably different.
The production consists of about a dozen hit numbers written by some of the leading artists of musical theater — ranging from Stephen Sondheim and William Finn to Sara Bareilles and Rick Hip-Flores — that are punctuated by brief narrative expositions of Leaphart’s struggles with her affliction. In one particularly effective recurring motif, Leaphart semi-affectionately refers to her malady as an erratic boyfriend named Bipolar Pete — an alternately loving and abusive significant other that she must, but cannot, abandon.
Audiences familiar with bipolar disorder won’t learn anything new from Almost Together, but the journey and triumphs of Leaphart — a gifted and charismatic performer and singer — easily earn your attention, sympathy and cheers.
Running Time: 60 Minutes.
2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘Almost Together’ by Mary Leaphart