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2/20/15

One Memorable Moment from One Day: The Musical

There is only one scene I want to talk about when it comes to One Day: The Musical. And not because this show - now open at the 3LD Art &Technology Center - is a hot mess with a side of awful, but because this one scene was…unique.

About half-way through the first act, one of the girls in this vignette-style show (a compilation of short stories and journal entries taken from “real-life” teens) goes into a “bathroom.” A security camera shot is transposed on stage (don’t ask, I don’t know why a camera is there either) and she proceeds to make herself throw up. After exiting, the music starts up for a song.

For the record, I had no fucking clue what type of segue-way or music number or whatever could happen at this point in time - leading me to whisper to myself, "are they really gonna start singing now?” But the song that happens next, I just CANNOT. EVEN.

The bulimic teen starts singing a joyous, flashy romp about vomiting (according to the program, the song is called, “Tips and Tricks on How to Puke Your Guts Out”). Oh wait, it gets better…amidst singing, she starts prancing all over the performance space and faux-hurling into whatever toilet is in her path, as the rest of the ensemble dances and sways nearby in headdresses and sparkly vests.

This would be the point where I’d remark about the orchestrations or lyrics or even the actress giving it her all, but as that particular moment was unfolding, I was too busy LAUGHING until a steady waterfall of tears was flowing down my face. The more and more outrageous this spectacle became, the harder I bowled over in cry-laughing. I’m only human and that is easily a contender for the BEST/WORST thing in the history of 5EVA.

No, I will not think about how this scene came off as glamorizing bulimia (of course). Or the fact that the orchestrations and lyrics, from what I could see/hear over my cry-laughing, were a disaster. And I’ll gladly overlook that THIS MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE as far as context or themes go.

BUT...I lovvvveeee this sequence so hard because it was so terrible, it actually transcended itself to become entertainingly watchable in a glittery train-wreck, “Lifetime Movie set to music" kinda way. For that, I thank One Day.

What I don’t appreciate about the show is pretty much everything else. No through-line or story to be discerned from an, admittedly, rich well of potential (i.e Spring Awakening, Bare: A Pop Opera, even Heathers: The Musical). The excerpts that unfold - from a a flirtatious almost-couple to an openly-gay male dealing with bullying and homophobia to some teens excessive raging and drug use - are so over-the-top and heavy-handed, no sense of authenticity or relatability can be discerned. So many annoying and overlong monologues are peppered throughout and don’t do the “story” (if you can call it that) or characters (is everyone supposed to be unwatchable, unrealistic and hateable?) any favors. Throw in the generic score, some downright RANDOM moments (why, the FUCK, is a Spain/Spanish number kicking off the Second Act?) and a sound design that can be heard from Florida...and that’s all she wrote, folks.

But that bulimia number was BONKERS. So…at least there’s that. Still laughing over it.


Photo Credit: Bob Degus

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