Review: Striking 12: The Groove Lily Musical
The narrator says it straight up at the beginning: Striking 12: The Groove Lily Musical is a nonextravaganza, nonspectacular kind of holiday show. The narrator lies. This trippy musical—an amalgam of jazz, pop, rock, rap and show tunes—is nothing but spectacular.
On New Year’s Eve, a New York minion who’s slogged through another depressing run of the annual rat race decides he’s had enough. (The character is The Man Who Has Had Enough, and Kevin Caravalho is amazing in the role.)
The Man vows no parties, just a quiet night at home, until a woman (Andrea Eve Thorpe) comes to his door selling special “full-spectrum holiday light bulbs” that are said to alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Up pops the subject of the Little Match Girl in the Hans Christian Andersen story and before you know it (with the help of Jennifer Morrison, Scott Scholes, Kristi Webb and John Haine—all excellent), we’re back-and-forth-ing in time and space between Denmark and Manhattan and someplace in The Man’s head.
Striking 12 was written by members of indie pop group Groove Lily, featuring Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, with help on the book from Rachel Sheinkin. Christopher Cook directs the minimalist production (actors walk among and interact with the live band that’s stationed about the stage). They don’t break the fourth wall between performer and audience because there’s no wall to break. It’s totally open and inviting.