March 6, 2020
To start things off, let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a guy who would rather stay indoors all day and interact with absolutely no one for a week straight, surviving on soda and potato chips. Suffice to say I had no idea what I was doing at the Drama Learning Center, waiting for the next showing of Brooklyn: The Musical.
The Drama Learning Center is a small theater in a strip mall just off of Route 100, in one of those massive mazes of identical 1-story buildings where you can get turned around fourteen times and still not have any idea where you are. At least, that’s what happened to me. It was a Thursday night, dark, windy, and cold as hell.
Brooklyn: The Musical tells the story of a group of street actors in New York telling their own story, using their nook under the Brooklyn Bridge to tell the tale of a girl named Brooklyn, whose father had left her mother for unknown reasons before her birth. You can see a theme start to develop here. Brooklyn is the daughter of French dancer Faith, who tragically dies shortly after the beginning, leaving Brooklyn orphaned in France, where she develops quite the musical talent. After coming of age, the young singer resolves to travel to her namesake city, guess it if you can, to find her father, who came from Brooklyn. As she journeys through New York, she performs a small song her father had written for her mother at each venue, hoping to lure the man back, and gains a cult following in the process. Along the way, she is challenged by Brooklyn’s current ‘queen’, a woman by the name Paradice. She finally finds her father, who is at this point a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran. Long story short, she loses the showdown against Paradice, and it turns out one of the actors who were telling the story is Taylor, Brooklyn’s father, who asks the audience if any of what he said happened right as the play ends.
What did I think of it? Quite simply, it was amazing. The story was well written, the actors knew their parts and clearly had fun playing them, and the songs were perfectly performed. The entire experience was breathtaking, and there is no doubt in my mind that I’d do it again.