MEANT arrives quickly, as a one-act play (surprisingly!) and recalls Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The play is still very much its own thing, and deserves to be seen as a tonic to shows that can be easily described. Bear with me, because there is a lot going on in this production.
It’s billed as a dark comedy with music, and that just scratched the surface of its swirling elements. The first is that it is thought to be dark. Boy, is it. I actually expected it to be far more difficult to watch based on a brief description, but my girlfriend found it really dark. That’s entirely fair of a show that dares to revolve around the potential loss of a child, but I found that it was handled rather smoothly. In terms of its comedy, I dunno, but I found the spectre of the Fates to be quite funny, and its trio of performers were a highlight of the show. Thom Nyhuus as Lars received the lion’s share of the lines, though Landon Doell and especially Morgan St. Onge shined.
As for the music, Lucas Penner is the composer and music director (and stars as Austin), and while his songs were strong, his performance was weak. I don’t know if his guitar was out of tune, but he never quite found his footing. Kyrah Harder as Hannah (also the writer of the show) fared better, but touched her forehead too often and seemed to be unsure of her timing overall, probably as a result of the direction by Robynne Harder. The latter did a fine job of staging the show, though, and deserved better than a very distracting raucous upstairs performance.
Overall, MEANT is a puzzler, but a puzzle worth trying to solve.