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  •  REVIEW: ELI'S COMIN'

      Eli's Comin'
    Nyro worship

    "Eli's Comin' " is a wonderfully musical revue of the songs of '60s-'70s folk icon Laura Nyro that inspires interesting, if sometimes odd, staging.

    By CARAID O'BRIEN
    Offoffoff.com


    "Eli's Comin' " is a musical revue of the songs of Laura Nyro, a folk icon whose work vastly influenced Joni Mitchell, Peter Paul and Mary, and countless others. Co-created by Bruce Buschel and Diane Paulus, the show is also directed by Paulus, best known for her long-running Shakespearean disco, "The Donkey Show." which she co-created with partner Randy Weiner.

    ELI'S COMIN'
    Written by: Diane Paulus, Bruce Buschel.
    Cast: Judy Kuhn, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Ronnell Bey, Anika Noni-Rose, Mandy Gonzalez.
    Music by: Laura Nyro, arranged by Diedre Murray.
      
    Nyro's music is beautifully arranged by Diedre Murray and the backup band led by Joe Rubinstein is excellent, filled with personality — a welcome change from the traditional pit orchestra.

    The Laura Nyro character played by Judy Kuhn portrays a young artist discovering a seedy yet adventure-filled New York in the sixties and seventies. With just an echo of a plot, the piece, which has no spoken words, centers around the artist and two other young women (Mandy Gonzalez and Anika Noni Rose) and their troubled romantic relationships with "Captain," a familiar player in the Nyro canon.

      Eli's Comin'
    Danced by Tony Award winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia as a tattooed Latin tempter flitting on and off stage, the addition of this nearly non-singing character doesn't quite work and breaks up the rhythm of the show.

    Ronnell Bey, the most interesting and defined presence on stage, embodies a gypsy, a mother and numerous other roles through her singing. The performers move around dramatically between numbers, and the dancing is undefined, loose and folksy. The evening's title song is one of its highlights — other great Nyro numbers include: "And When I Die" and "Sweet Blindness."

    Nyro's lyrics are poetical and the music moving and powerfully interpreted — a fine concert, if not exactly a theater piece.

    MAY 16, 2001
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Eli's Comin':

  • Loved it!!!   from Ari Brandvine, Jun 26, 2001
  • Re: Loved it!!!   from Kim, Jul 8, 2001
  • The Donkey Show was great!   from paul ubrod, Jul 10, 2001
  • Re: The Donkey Show was great!   from Ari, Aug 2, 2001
  • Re: Loved it!!!   from Ari Brandvine, Aug 2, 2001
  • Re: Loved it!!!   from carol, Sep 28, 2001
  • Re: Loved it!!!   from Andy, Dec 19, 2002
  • Re: Loved it!!!   from Liv, Jul 12, 2004

  • Post a comment on "Eli's Comin'"