Ordinary Days is a show that is very close to my heart. It involves intricate writing from Adam Gwon which tell the story of four New Yorkers and how accidental incidents can bring people closer together. The music is fantastically written and the narrative of people trying to discover themselves through the hustle and bustle of very busy city life is very relatable.
The piece sets off to a bit of a bumpy start, as the character of Warren (Josh Vaatstra) tells the audience about his life. You could sense Vaatstra’s nervousness through this as he seemed to be singing the lyrics as if he was reading them at first, and was shuffling around the stage uncertainly. The character of Warren is very out- there and optimistic, something that you don’t usually encounter, and Vaatstra definitely warmed to these characteristics throughout the show and added a really sweet vulnerability to the character as he gained more confidence in the performance. To give him his dues, some of the lyrics are a very tight squeeze, and it seemed quite hard for the pianist to keep up with this at times too.
His interactions with Deb (Bella Norris), a focused but disorganised grad school student are some of the most enjoyable moments of the piece. Norris’ interpretation of Deb is very believable and is actually very refreshing, as she is often portrayed as too over the top. The suppressed characteristics that Norris introduces caused for some extremely comedic moments and was a real glimmer of light throughout. At times she plays things a little too mundane where a greater loss of control is needed, but this was mostly made up for by her effortless vocals throughout the whole piece.
Phoebe Judd portrayed similar notes of subtlety to the character of Claire, which showed a nice loyalty to the character. Again, I found I wanted Claire to lose it a little more when she sings about how she has to “Let Things Go”. Her voice is also nicely suited to Claire, and the delivery of “I’ll Be Here” was lovely.
Jason (Loïc Radermecker) has some moments of brilliance, but these are then contrasted with moments that are, well, not so much. I found it quite jarring that he was referring to ‘the Met’ as ‘da Met’ and ‘then’ turned to ‘den’ as well as other examples. His accent could use a little work, but I feel as though he again was too concerned by the vocal range of the character that we lost some really beautiful moments. He has a nice voice but perhaps it’s better suited to a character that sits nicely in his range.
On the whole, this show is a lovely little piece, and with a little more work, the cast could definitely make something really special.
Ordinary Days is playing at C Too until August 29.