Delayed – A Musical Preview
Music and Lyrics by Elaine Pechacek and Katie Hammond
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park, FL
I can’t say a huge amount about a musical that’s not even complete, but they WERE selling tickets for this preview so a few comments might be appropriate. The song writing duo of Pechacek and Hammond are 8 weeks into this promising project, and tonight they were brave enough to showcase 11 songs of this musical set at an airport departure gate. That’s as good a place as any to pull together a crowd of disparate souls and squeeze their patience.
The main character might be Kate (Katie Hammond). She’s a bit crazy and tends toward throwing tantrums and dating inappropriate men. Her “I am” song is “Bad Day” with its long list of disasters ranging from a broken nail to the beginning of her cycle. A simmering subplot lurks in Disney-esque “Pilot Duet” between Kate’s sister Megan (Summer Aiello) and pilot Scott Whittmore. They’re both in love with each other and two nervous to do anything rash. Kate reappears in “Accutane”, a quick tempo march about an acne fighting drug that makes you psycho but gives back your porcelain skin.
These three solid songs set lead into the two best numbers in “Delayed”. Liza (Sarah Hanchar) is the eternal “Bridesmaid,” also the working title of her technically challenging but extremely entertaining song that mixes sexual frustration and Girl Scout readiness. Immediately following it is the even funnier “Stalker”, a duet between Kate and Ian (Ryan Kim) who is stalking her all the way through the X-Ray machine. She knows Ian lurks in Crazy Town, but at least she can travel safely knowing he has less than 3 ounces of fluids or gels.
Next we hear a pair of songs that seem out of tone with the rest of the show. “Jane’s Lament” (sung by Ms Hammond) is a slow, down beat number about a woman near the end of her rope – pregnant and abandoned; she has intestinal problems and is probably in a middle seat as well. Chase Padgett then provides the potentially show stopping “Kids on a Plane”. He’s the world weary road warrior, forever stuck in front of a fussy child, and he spews the highest level of anger of anyone in this project. Musically this is a very promising piece, but profanity substitutes for clever lyrics.
Things look up as Ian returns with “Worst Case Scenario” where he seems less a creepster for Kate’s love than a man with his heart set on a specific goal. Finally, there’s a big production number (yeah!) “GAY” is premised on the idea that all desirable heterosexual men are already claimed, and the only single ones are unavailable.
It’s hard to draw conclusions from this trunk of songs, but “Delayed” sounds promising. What’s not clear from the music presented is who the main characters might be and from whence the conflict flows. Kate and Megan have some baggage to resolve, Jane is in the worst emotional state of anyone, we never revisit the pilot/stewardess relation, and Ian and Kate just doesn’t seem like the pair you would cheer for. How this story pulls together is still in the hands of the creative team, but they promise a public read through in January. Get in line early, or you’ll be stuck in the back next to the restroom.
For more information on Delayed, please visit http://www.pechacekhammond.com
For other Breakthrough events, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com