The Little Match Girl
By Andrew Andrews
The Good: The nine-member cast is handsomely costumed, muti-talented and delightfully enthusiastic. The period-appropriate wardrobe is gorgeous, the singing is strong, and the dancing numbers in particular are the highlight of this performance.
The Bad: Although the structure of both the lyrics and music are of professional caliber, the lines themselves are oversimplified and unmemorable. The live orchestra—which consists of two keyboards and a cast member playing violin—is technically strong but too small to provide depth to the music. More layers, including a rhythm section, would go a long way here. Similarly, all but two of the actors performed multiple roles, which I nearly always find confusing and annoying.
The Ugly: Andersen’s original story lacks any semblance of a plot, and despite all of its changes, this adaptation does little to enhance the drama. Aside from a few brief moments where I enjoyed the song and dance, I could hardly wait for this show to be over.
Even though my wish came true in less than an hour, the pitfalls of this production are too big for the talent to overcome. The good news is that the run will soon be over, and the cast will be free to move on to bigger and better things.
Andrew Andrews attended The Little Match Girl at St. Luke’s Theatre in Manhattan on Thursday, February 13, 2020 @ 7:00pm to write this review.