The Wrong Man

This one is gonna transfer to Broadway, and it'll probably pick up a few Tonys. The Wrong Man reunites Hamilton alumni Thomas Kail and Alex Lacamoire to tell the story of a man facing the death penalty for a crime he didn't commit.

Duran, played by Joshua Henry, is our protagonist. After a wild night out with Mariana, played by Ciara Renée, he is framed for her murder by her ex husband The Man In Black, played by Ryan Vasquez.

The plot here isn't meant to catch us by surprise. They let us know all of this in the opening number. What I really loved about this show was the music and the choreography.

The Wrong Man is based on a concept album of the same name by Ross Golan. You might not have heard his name, but he has quite a few songwriting credits for artists like pop artists Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, and even Michael Bublé. He has a knack for writing catchy verses. In a musical this is a bit repetitive, but it still works.

The show is a sing-through musical, which is such a nice change of pace from the average new production. This makes sense, a concept album tends to lend itself really well to a musical with no additional dialog.

There are some notable plot differences from the album to the stage production. In both, Mariana shares with Duran that she's pregnant. In the show he's supportive, in the album he wants nothing to do with her. I felt like the show made him more sympathetic, but the album was much more believable. Duran doesn't need to be a saint for us to empathize with him. In fact it's better if he's not.

That said, they used this plot change to carve out a stronger role for Mariana; I'm not sure how they would have integrated her as well without this change.

Travis Wall's choreography is stunning. It's interwoven so thoroughly with the plot I'm convinced it could tell the story without any lyrics. Duran and Marianna both have dance counterparts, who tell their stories through ballet. While Joshua Henry and Ciara Renée are telling their story from the sidelines, Tilly Evans-Krueger and Kyle Robinson are executing a ballet on stage.

The one thing I was disappointed with was the on stage seating. They had bleacher style seats on stage and I was seated in one of them. I imagine from the main audience's perspective we are the jury. I felt like the actors mostly had their backs turned to me.

That said, I really loved this show. I plan to see it again for it's final performance on November 24th. Definitely check it out if you can.

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