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A CurtainUp Review
Lawrence Mark Wythe's musical, Tomorrow Morning, is about John (Matthew Hydzik) and Kat (Autumn Hurlbert), and Jack (D.B. Bonds) and Catherine (Mary Mossberg). The first couple is just about to begin married life together. The second is just about to end it. Look closely at the names.
At first John and Kat seem blissfully happy. Their only problem seems to be that John, to save money, wants his bride to wear her mother's wedding dress, something so atrocious it could cause even the least romantic or fashion-conscious woman in the audience to shudder. Catherine and Jack's marriage has been destroyed through Jack's infidelity. All that remains is deciding on what to do with their son Adam.
Then in "The Secret Tango" each of the characters reveals some awful secret. Kat can't stop eating and worries about her weight. John doesn't know where to hide his extensive pornography collection. Catherine can't stop shopping. Jack, for some reason, sings that his secret vice is the infidelity his wife already knows about. The song has a great Latin beat but the great revelations seem somewhat lame.
Some drama is introduced when Kat finds out she's pregnant. Her biggest fear is the reaction of her loving fiancé, a fear that is justified by his initial reaction. In the meantime Jack and Catherine continue bickering over who caused the breakup and what's going to happen to their son.
In the middle of the show there is a bizarre scene with a song called "The Game Show" in which the two couples are competing for. . . something. It seems to have fallen onto the stage from TV Land.
Way before this point in the show, anyone with half a brain has probably figured out that the two couples are really one, and all will end up just fine. But there are three more songs before Wythe and director Tom Mullen let the audience leave.
There's nothing terribly wrong with Tomorrow Morning, but neither is there anything terribly right. The songs are well executed and sometimes okay, but never memorable. The characters are sometimes likable but never engaging. The plot is always contrived. Even the set is so generic that it's impossible to figure out who these people are and why anyone should be interested in them. The actors don't make any major contributions, but then they don't have much to work with.
With a lot of work perhaps this musical could be turned into the one it most closely resembles: The Fantasticks. But as it stands now, Tomorrow Morning has little of the wacky and wonderfully whimsical quality that made The Fantasticks such a long-running phenomena.
In his program notes, York Theatre Company's artistic director Jim Morgan writes, ". . .Tomorrow Morning has book, music and lyrics by London's Laurence Mark Wythe, and the last tine a York mainstage show was written by one person was 2005 when Ed Dixon created Fanny Hill — and I believe that the only other such instance in our 41-year history was in 1996 [No Way to Treat a Lady]. As if this weren't enough of a testament to the difficulty of the task, Morgan also points out how few writers are this kind of a "triple threat": Noel Coward, Meredith Wilson, Jonathan Larsen.
Surely Wythe should be commended for his initiative. Nevertheless, some new blood might not hurt this show.