Voice of the CityUnder the headline “‘Voice of the City’ Worth the Price of Admission,” the following Voice of the City review by critic Terry Morris ran in the Dayton Daily News on Oct. 17, 2006, following the first of two script-in-hand workshop presentations of the show by Human Race Theatre Company at its Loft space in Dayton, OH. Karen Azenberg directed, Sean Flowers was the musical director. My composer and I weren’t told critics were sneaking into the performance. I would have minded more if the notice had been negative, of course. Here’s the positive review that ran in the independent Dayton City Paper. And here’s the official website for Voice of the City. Here’s the Daily News review, uncut:

[pl_blockquote pull=”left” cite=”Terry Morris”]There’s an unwritten rule that reviewers shouldn’t critique shows that are still in the formative stages. It might harm the baby.

It’s easy to go along with [that rule] in the case of Voice of the City, by Kenneth Jones and Elaine Chelton, which opened Monday for the first of just two workshop-style performances at The Loft.

No one would want to harm this baby, which is in loving hands with this director, Karen Azenberg, and a Human Race Theatre Musical Workshop Series cast head by Meegan Midkiff and Scott Hunt.

Expanded from an O. Henry short story set 100 years ago in New York City, Voice begins as the tale of Sarah Smith (Midkiff), who makes ends meet as a typist. It also becomes the story of a waiter, Adam Green (Hunt), who’s a songwriter on the side — a theatrical cliché that’s turned to original advantage.

But there I go praising, which I’m not supposed to do in this case any more than I’m supposed to say how much I appreciated the songs “In Just a Week,” which covers a lot of ground in just a song; “August Again,” a romantic slice of Indian summer; “I Really Don’t Care,” which propels the story; “In Harmony,” a perfect little singing lesson; and “Letting Go,” which is two stories in one.

So I’d better stick to the performers, who help make this the best $15 you may spend on a musical this season if you catch the final show at 7 tonight. They also include Deanne Lorette, Jamie Cordes, Scott Stoney, Pat Linhart and Erin Ulman, plus an ensemble of Deb Colvin-Tener, Renee Franck-Reed, Matt Neal, Katie Pees, David Sherman and Marya Spring.

I wish I could tell you more, but there’s a baby to consider.[/pl_blockquote]