4/18/2013 3:00 PM
This small musical follows struggling songwriter Gordon after he collapses suddenly and is admitted to the hospital, and the reactions of his lover, mother, and hospital staff. Despite his precarious health, his boss at Mr. Bungee, the children’s TV program he composes music for, is still strictly enforcing his deadline, and all the stress causes him to spiral into graver doubts about his artistic ability. Since serious subject matter such as this begs for levity, the score is cheerful and the book is irreverent and goofy. Much of the show takes place while Gordon is hallucinating or unconscious in the hospital and undergoing various tests, so his dreams are appropriately bizarre and humorous, involving the characters from Mr. Bungee and a human ventriloquist dummy act. These scenes mark a decline in Gordon's health, however, and contrast with the ways those around him are handling his illness.
At the center of all this heavy material, though, is love. Gordon’s near-death experience forces all the characters to grapple with how they process trauma to those they love. Gordon and his lover want to spend more time together, while his mother tries to find something to blame for her son’s ill health. Ultimately, Gordon recovers and his new lease on life gets rid of the writers’ block that had been plaguing him. The contrast between the usually upbeat score and the sad story makes this a show that defies genre to some degree, at turns heartbreaking, eccentric, and joyful.