The Passage Or What Comes of Searching In the Dark, is a new musical by David Darrow, presented by 7th House Theater, currently playing in The Guthrie's Dowling Studio. It is a modern day fairy tale, or hero's quest, about growing up and the loss of innocence.
Albert (Alejandro Vega) is a 12 year old boy whose father hasn't been seen in weeks because he is being held by the monster that lives in the basement. Cassie (Mary Bair) moves in next door and together they venture into the basement to save Albert's father. The cast is fleshed out by Albert's mother (Lara Trujillo), Albert's father (Bob Beverage) and a 4 member ensemble comprised of Cat Brindisi, Derek Prestly, Grant Sorenson and Kendall Anne Thompson.
These ensemble members bring the show together, serving as a theatrical chorus. They are narrators, props (in a way that reminded me of Transatlantic Love Affair), and the things in Albert's own mind. Their voices merge together beautifully, which is essential as they sing all the songs in the show. The songs have many different styles, at times I was reminded of Jason Robert Brown, Kitt/Yorkey (of Next to Normal), Sondheim and also Panic at the Disco. Despite all the varying styles, together they form a cohesive set that fits the show well.
The set, designed by Eli Schlatter, is rather sparse. It is comprised of a few tables, stools, and doors which when moved into different locations forms the needed spaces. The movement of the characters and set pieces during and between the scenes was a wonder to watch.
In fact, the entire show, that fit into a brief 75 minutes was a wonder to watch.
After the bows, during which no one in the audience stood up because I'm guessing like me, they were in shock, I simply muttered "that was incredible."
And it truly was incredible, it is one the best things that I have seen all year, I already have plans to go see it again.
I encourage everyone to go and see it before it closes December 4th, and since it is part of the new level nine initiative at the Guthrie, tickets are only 9 dollars.
*Photo by Amy Anderson