Fly By Night, a folk rock musical, currently making its regional debut at the Jungle Theater, contains many tropes found in musicals. It contains; a love triangle, New York City as a setting, and a play within a play, and yet it still feels entirely original. It tells the story of a year in the life of four characters, a father and son, and two sisters. Our narrator guides us through this year not chronologically but thematically. Jim Lichtscheidl is a highlight of the show and a wonderful guide, his energy drives the show forward and his pure talent is obvious as he transforms into multiple characters aided by only a subtle costume change.
As the play unfolds we learn more and more about our four central characters. Harold is a sandwich maker and aspiring musician, his father is coping with the loss of his wife with an attachment to La Traviata. Daphne is an aspiring actress from South Dakota, and her sister Miriam loves being a waitress and receives and prophesy about her true love. The character development is entirely organic, aided by the non linear storytelling.
The show is filled with strong performances. All of the actors breathe so much life and originality into their characters. Local musician Chris Koza is making his theatrical debut as the aspiring musician, Harold. Although his inexperience is noticeable he completely comes to life when he has a guitar in his hand and is singing. Fly By Night is an extremely touching show about the connections between people and searching for what you love. It just might be the perfect summer musical.
It is running at the Jungle Theater until July 23.
*Photo by Dan Norman