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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Broadway Play “Urban Cowboy” Struggles to Lasso Plot

    What?s described as four and a half acres of concrete prairie under a corrugated tin sky?’ ‘ Gilley?s Bar, of course, the setting for most of the action in the new musical, ?Urban Cowboy?, which opened Thursday night at the Broadhurst Theatre.’ Sound like a great place to find true love?’ Well, maybe not.’

    ?Urban Cowboy?, based on the 1980 movie of the same name, is the story of a country boy named Bud (Matt Cavenaugh), who moves to Houston to save up some money so he can eventually start his own horse farm.’ When he gets there, he meets Sissy (Jenn Colella).

    After they have sex in the back of a pickup truck, Sissy says, ?I believe that once in your life, you can look deep into someone?s eyes and just know.’ Do you know, Bud??’ The next scene opens on their wedding, and the rest of the play struggles to find its footing as Bud and Sissy struggle to find theirs in marriage.

    The performances in this play are dry as Texas dust, no thanks to the writing.’ Every time Sissy exclaims, ?[Expletive], really?? during a sentimental moment, the audience can?t help but cringe.’ The only performances of note are those of Bud?s Aunt Corene (Sally Mayes) and Uncle Bob (Leo Burmester).’ Mayes? powerful voice brings the audience out of their boredom-induced stupor, reminding us that theatre can occasionally portray real emotion.

    The music is given to us as a poor substitute for substance in this play.’ With a few exceptions by up-and-coming composer Jason Robert Brown, the songs are not particularly distinct or memorable.’ Brown also directs the onstage band during the show,

    Costumes and choreography are designed with a teenaged audience in mind: lots of flesh and lots of hip-grinding.’ But for all the glitz, even the younger elements of the audience seemed less than thrilled with what they saw.’ Seems they were lookin? for love in all the wrong places.’

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