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Heat Lightning Press & Reviews

"A new theatrical form may be taking place at the Kirk Theatre: The garage band musical. Scruffy, relaxed, and intimate! Punchy songs...a wry number called 'Ordinary Life' early on sets a nice tongue-in-cheek tone."
The New York Times, March 2003

"A rollicking country rock score. Veering from hard-driving rock to heartfelt ballads the songs nicely reflect the heartache each character suffers due to Seth's straying."
The Daily News, March 2003

"Heat Lightning has a great score, music and lyrics by George Griggs. It's rock 'n' roll framework is enlivened with catchy hooks, a frequent country-western mellowness, and bright lyrics, and does what show music should, delineating character and moving story ahead."
Backstage, March 2003

"Heat Lightning offers fun songs and lively tunes performed by a tight band!", March 2003

"A stylish production with terrific glints of humor! A rich pop-infused score that sparks with wit!"
American Theatre, March 2003

The New York Times
Crisis and Harmony in the Next-Door Garage

By Neil Genzlinger
Published: March 12, 2003

"Heat Lightning"
Kirk Theater

A new theatrical form may be taking shape at the Kirk Theater on 42nd Street: the garage band musical. The show, "Heat Lightning," about 75 minutes of songs tied together with a little bit of story, is so scruffy, relaxed and intimate that you feel as if you're watching one of those three-chord garage bands that bang out ragged music mostly for the fun of it.

That is partly because the stage is roughly the size of a garage, and because you are indeed watching a band: the musicians are planted right alongside the actors. The main character, Seth (Sean Fri), slips in and out of the band, since in the story he is a country-rock singer.

Seth is having a midlife-crisis moment, cheating on his wife, Cris (Laura Marie Duncan), with a luscious temptress named Aurora (Coleen Sexton). The two backup singers in Seth's bar band (Jennifer Waldman and Jackie Seiden) mock him a lot, in perfect harmony.

The play, by George Griggs and Paul Andrew Perez, which runs through April 20, doesn't have much more than that on its mind, plotwise. Mostly it's a vehicle for Mr. Griggs's songs, many of them pretty punchy, all of them delivered well by the talented singers. A wry number called ''Ordinary Life'' early on sets a nice tongue-in-cheek tone; the play and the actors rip along just on the edge of camp and parody for most of the way. The plot and the novelty run out before the music does, but that's the way it is in garages; if you want neat and genteel, find a living room.

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