Lost the Hamilton lottery again? Take heart. Steps away from Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theater (home to the mega-show), is Off Broadway’s sparkling new MCC Theater where a similar musical resides through November 17th.
The plot similarities between book writer, composer, and lyricist Ross Golan’s The Wrong Man are completely different from the modern tale of our Founding Fathers. Yet the music, choreography, and staging bear a strong resemblance to one another. It’s no coincidence. They share the same deft director (Thomas Kail) and music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator (Alex Lacamoire). Although the choreographers are different, they each share similar moves. And what moves they are! This is one of the tightest, most mesmerizing working ensembles currently on a New York stage.
The Wrong Man is a quick 90-minute ride about Duran (Joshua Henry), an upstanding guy who falls in love with Mariana (Ciara Renee) in Reno. Her jealous man-described as “Man in Black” (Ryan Vasquez)- sets out in a jealous rage. A murder is committed and Duran is framed.
Honestly, it’s a story that could be told in 10-15 minutes, but what makes it so riveting is Golan’s genre diverse and fantastic score. From country to hip hop to Latin rhythms, this is a feast for the ears. The small ensemble is also visually riveting. Often, they are reflecting the action of the live actors through dance–and it’s beautiful to watch.
Lyrically, it is incredibly repetitive, a characteristic I initially found slightly irritating. After more thought, I reconsidered. This tale of injustice is reflective of a tired judicial system. One that continually targets and punishes the innocent while “evil men go on the run.”
The ever commanding Henry hits another home-run here. From the moment I saw him in Broadway’s Violet, I was a fan. His stage presence and vocals are something to behold. Renee is also in top vocal form.
Think of The Wrong Man as an old-fashioned caper mixed with themes of modern-day social injustice, but don’t think twice about seeing this truly unique piece of musical theater.
The Wrong Man runs through November 17 at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (511 W 52nd ST). For tickets, click here.