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June 9, 2024
Big Voices Fill A Small Stage
The Lonely Few
Photo by joan Marcus

Can two extremely talented female performers overcome their history of unhappy relationships and learn to love again? Zoe Sarnak and Rachel Bonds’s rock musical, The Lonely Few, is a lesbian romance about moving on from the past and taking a chance to live your own life.

Lila (the incredible Lauren Patten) is stuck in a small town performing as the lead singer of The Lonely Few. Accompanied by Dylan (Damon Daunno of “Hadestown” and “Oklahoma,”) JJ (Helen J Shen,) and the drummer and bar owner Paul (Thomas Silcott,) she rocks the house down. The music is often so loud and powerful that the MCC Theater offers ear plugs to the audience members along with the playbill as they enter.

After the death of their mother, the only family Lila has is her older brother Adam who is an alcoholic and unable to get a job. To support both of them, Lila works in a store managed by Dylan. When the successful singer-songwriter Amy Burnett (Taylor Iman Jones ) comes to the bar, it is inevitable that she is attracted to Lila and she offers the group the chance to be her opening act. The group is now living its dream and able to flee from the small town. Amy has a history with Paul who was once married to her mother. Together they sing a beautiful song entitled “If Your Child.”

The storyline is slim and quite obvious. Music is the way that these young people will be able to escape their small Kentucky town. When Amy discovers the talented Lila, they fall in love. Of course, there are obstacles. Amy’s tour is canceled when not enough tickets are sold, but more importantly when Lila's brother is struggling, she leaves Amy to return home to care for him.

The voices are incredible, especially Patten who won the Tony for her performance in the Alanis Morissette musical “Jagged Little Pill.” Her low husky tones add depth to her belting. Taylor Iman Jones (“Six”) has some quieter, more reflective songs and the two perform a couple of songs together. Sadly, Daunno is underutilized.

The show creates the atmosphere of a club by including seating onstage at tables on and around the stage. The production, directed by Tripp Cullman and Ellenore Scott, has much of the audience seated within Paul’s Juke Joint bar where the action occurs. The songs are performed in the style of a rock concert and would work as an album.

There's not much story and certainly no surprises and if you don’t like loud, this isn’t the show for you. But if you appreciate wonderful voices and good rock music, it was worth the walk beyond the mainstream theater district to 52nd between 10th and 11. “The Lonely Few” is a reminder of how much good entertainment there is Off-Broadway.

MCC Theater
511 W 52nd St.
New York, NY 10019

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Written by: Elyse Trevers
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