(Robert Hurwitt’s article article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 7/18.)
A lot can happen in a New York blackout. Stars are seen. Time stops. Dreams are realized, smashed or revived. Marriages, too. And lives. Songs are sung, tales intertwine and – in the case of "Fly by Night" at TheatreWorks – a breathtakingly good new musical is born.
Conceived by Kim Rosenstock, and written by her with songwriters Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick, "Fly" opened Saturday in a buoyant world premiere at Lucie Stern Theatre as the anchor production in TheatreWorks' New Works Festival. Smart, funny and poignant lyrics nestle in sweet melodies within a brain-teasing well-told tale.
It's a story as simple as a triangle, as the beguilingly protean, sweet-voiced Wade McCollum's Narrator tells us – and as complex. It's impossible to know where a triangle begins, so "Fly" keeps flashing back to relate how another leg led to a corner as we move toward the huge blackout that blanketed the Northeast in 1965.