Review: Promenade at New York City Center
In Promenade, which played New York City Center from July 10-11, two convicts manage to dig their way out of a cell only to end up wandering between the worlds of the haves and have-nots. It's a light hearted and eclectic look at the chasm between rich and poor, told mainly through song. But despite some good performances, it's hard to get much out of a show with mainly one dimensional characters and a plot that seems to disappear the more the show goes on.
I can't suggest you try to find much logic Promenade, as it is a fruitless mission. As 105 (James T. Lane) and 106 (Kent Overshown) work to evade the Jailer (Mark Bedard) they quickly befriend the Servant (Bryonha Marie Parham) and examine the divide between the rich who occupy the house that they have wandered into, and the world the live in without many riches. Over more than 30 musical numbers later, the show builds to a quiet and thoughtful conclusion in the song "All is Well in the City." For a show that seems to land all over the place, the ending is a perfect way to wrap up the glitter and mischief that took up most of the show's two hours as it actually reflects on what the show is trying to display.
Lane and Overshown both gave good performances as 105 and 106, while Parham was a standout among the cast with her incredible vocals and acting. Bonnie Milligan also gave a great performance as Miss Cake while getting to show off her fabulous vocals.
Promenade is a wacky musical that embodies the experimental theater of the 1960s. And while there can be good performances and some memorable aspects, it doesn't quite land with the confusing plot and huge number of songs.