WALTHAM— The first annual 24 Hour Long Musical was a smash hit, and definitely a bit long.
The musical, Peter Pan this year, was drawn out at a painstakingly slow pace in order to make it last the full twenty four hours. Actors appeared motionless at times as they moved from one place to another over the course of several minutes.
There’s something dangerous and provocative about the experiment piece. The languid production folds back on itself and challenges the viewer at every turn. Take for example the song, “You Can Fly!” A cheery and poppy song, when slowed down and stretched out to 45 minutes, really makes us stop and think about the meaning of the song. “Think of a wonderful thought,” the song tells us for eight minutes.
Scene changes took forever. One scene change in particular lasting a full hour in which a culturally insensitive group of indians marched on stage. The parallels to manifest destiny were striking and powerful.
In all the 24 Hour Long Musical was a testament to the director’s ability to create meaning through tempo change. I highly recommend seeing the next production. Just bring a pillow.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.