BOTTOM LINE: An inventive look at an old story with some pretty good music and Broadway-caliber performances at bargain prices.
Honor is a new musical with music by Peter Mills and book by Cara Reichel and Peter Mills, presented by Prospect Theatre Company. Shakespeare's As You Like It is transplanted to feudal Japan where a young noble girl must disguise her self as a boy and uphold her family's honor while the man she loves also flees the kingdom to avenge her father's banishment. I know that it sounds a little like Mulan, but it's a lot more than that. The playwrights manage to very faithfully interpret Shakespeare's wonderful play almost scene for scene into a setting where all the characters have so much at stake. The setting also allows for some pretty bad-ass Samurai sword fighting!
I have to say that I had a pretty good time at this new musical. Diane Veronica Phelan, who recently appeared at Lincoln Center, and Ali Ewoldt, who recently appeared as Cosette in the revival of Les Miserables both have amazing voices and give performances that are well-worth the $20 ticket price. The show gets off to a slightly rocky start as it introduces all of the characters and sets the stage for the rest of the play, but once it gathers steam it's really interesting. There are some really beautiful moments, but that isn't to say that the evening isn't without some laughs as well. The moments of comedy in this show are really cute and quite funny.
The theatre is really nice for Off-Off Broadway. The only negative might be the location of the space. It's located at 26th and 10th, next door to a Housing Project. You read that correctly. Don't be alarmed though. It's totally safe, but don't think you're lost when trying to find the theatre. It is, in fact, next to a Housing Project, but well worth the trip. You'll be transported to a mystical world, you'll laugh, you might cry, and all for about the same price of two drinks in midtown. I say that's a pretty good deal.
(Honor plays at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street through May 18th. Showtimes are Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $20.
For Tickets and more infor, visit the theatre's website at prospecttheater.org.)