NEUROSIS: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

How many of us have a little voice in our head that leads us to make certain choices or question decisions?  The same voice can nag and promote self doubt and insecurity, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.  Neurosis, the Off Broadway musical jumps on this inventive premise with delightful aplomb.

Though the show has a sitcom feel and could use a dose of depth, it is breezy and entertaining with some delightful songs (music by Ben Green, lyrics by Greg Edwards) and lively staging moments (direction by Andy Sandberg) that highlight both the excellent voices and comedic physicality of the hardworking cast.

The story focuses on Abby (Jennifer Blood), a driven marketing professional, and Frank (Kevin Zak). a magician yearning for a big break with doting parents (played a bit over the top by both Susan J. Jacks and Joel Blum) who would prefer he consider becoming an attorney.  Abby is seeking a nice Jewish boy to compensate for past relationship choices, and boyish Frank fits the bill.

Enter their respective Neurosis or in the case of Abby…Neurosalina. They shadow Abby and Frank, further triggering or dissecting every anxious moment. If book writer, Allan Rice, had delved into this further and not tied things up neatly, the show would have shed some of its fluff, which would have been welcome.  But, the winning cast makes the most of the lightweight material.  Standouts include the willowy Morgan Weed who embraces Neurosalina and nails both the vocals and comedic notes with a dose of sex appeal.  And, Brendan Caldwell demonstrates the right combo of high energy and charm and commands the stage.

Casey Erin Clark, who played Samantha the therapist the night I went, has a strong presence and brought down the house with her powerful vocals, though the role lacks character development.

At the end, we are left with the notion of embracing our neurosis….and since we potentially all have them to some extent, it’s both validating and feel good.  And, in case one of your personal neuroses is fear of germs, theatregoers are given a pocketsize bottle of Neurosis hand sanitizer on the way out.

The creative team includes Shea Sullivan (choreography), Charlie Corcoran (scenic design), Jake DeGroot (lighting design), Michael McDonald (costume design), and David Sanderson (sound design).

Neurosis is running through October 7th at DR2 Theatre.