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March 10, 2015
Review: Long Story Short
Bryce Ryness and Pearl Sun in LONG STORY SHORT at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Bryce Ryness and Pearl Sun in LONG STORY SHORT at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Long Story Short, a musical pop/rock drama from Prospect Theater Company now at 59E59, relates 50 years in a couple's life, from how they first meet and start dating, to getting married and having children, to growing old together. An adaptation of David Schulner's play An Infinite Ache, it is written by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda and directed by Kent Nicholson.

Charles (Bryce Ryness) has just moved to Los Angeles and is working in a coffee shop; he invites Hope (Pearl Sun), an actress, back to his apartment after their first meeting. Soon, they are singing of how they dream of being old together and sitting in rocking chairs surrounded by their grandkids; they also sing of bashert (the Yiddish term for destiny) and being together forever. As they get to know each other, they share funny moments (like drawing pictures of themselves) and drama (like wanting different things in life).  Eventually, Charles proposes with a ring, they get married and have their honeymoon, and their children are born, grow up, and go off to college.  Terrible heartache and other problems occur along their journey together, but we see how things resolve themselves.

The pop/rock score is quite catchy with some beautiful ballads and a live band led by music director Vadim Feichtner; Ryness and Sun's well-trained, slightly amplified voices mix just right with the band’s songs. The two have real chemistry with each other and are directed wonderfully by Kent Nicholson against David L. Arsenault's modern and detailed set. This show is a fast-paced 95 minutes, is extremely well-acted, and received well-deserved hearty applause at its conclusion.

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Written by: Steven Babyak
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