Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

“Drift” voted “Tops in the Triangle” for best show of 2009

Drift voted Tops in the Triangle

Drift voted Tops in the Triangle

With nearly 3,000 votes cast by readers of Triangle Arts and Entertainment, Drift has been voted as “Tops in the Triangle“.

Below is a portion of the Triangle A&E review by Stephen Cordell;

“Drift,” (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy) “a semi-autobiographical, contemporary concert-musical,” provided a heavy hitting denouement to the evening’s festivities. Jeremy Schonfeld, the Brooklyn-based composer-lyricist, describes “Drift” as “a deeply personal work, written before, during, and after my marriage ended, chronicling my own turbulent journey through divorce and child custody.” Not, as one may imagine, an upbeat piece.

This uninterrupted 90 minutes is an examination of a man’s feelings at the loss of his marriage, his wife, his home, and charged emotions over its impact on his young daughter. It is a musical road map through the classic stages of grief: from denial (this is not happening to me), the anger (why is this happening to me?), to bargaining (we can fix this), depression (there is nothing I can do to change this), and grudging acceptance (I can learn from this and move on). For “Drift,” there are some bright spots along the way, dark though this journey so often seems.

The shock and anger of songs such as “Gone” and “Spite,” the bitterness of “Tuesday & Thursday” concerning the child visitation schedule, and the bewilderment of “The Good Wife,” are leavened by the wry look at men’s group therapy in “Dr. Schneider,” the tentatively optimistic “Helluva Guy/Same Boy Now” and the tenderness of the estranged couple’s duet “State of the Heart.”  By the journey’s end the faint light resolves into a sign of hope with “Wide Open World” and the affirmation of “Freedom.”

The more one learns about the prolific Mr. Schonfeld the more apt it appears that he would turn hard-earned experience into soul-searching music. The man has a long list of musical accomplishments, as well as numerous recent projects in the wind. These include, according to his website (www.jeremyschonfeld.com): “the development of a new musical with director and producer Daisy Prince … the album ‘37 Notebooks,’ the feature film, Clear Blue Tuesday as well as the musical, Home and innumerable atrainplays.” (By the way, if you do not know what atrainplays are, you must check out www.theatrainplays.com. Wildly imaginative street theatre is by no means dead!)

The 35th anniversary production of Ira David Wood III’s musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol (Theatre in the Park) tallied in at a very close second followed in order by The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (Burning Coal Theatre), Nutcracker (Carolina Ballet), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Justice Theatre Project), Jersey Boys (Broadway Series South), I love You, Your Perfect, Now Change (Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy), Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Ghost & Spice Productions), Picasso (Carolina Ballet), and West Side Story (North Carolina Theatre).