Glory Days

UP WITH PEOPLE The cast takes a leap into the void.

UP WITH PEOPLE The cast takes a leap into the void. Photograph: Scott Suchman

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5

Glory Days is a show that one might reasonably expect to see for $20 at the New York Musical Theater Festival, and then speak charitably, if asked, of its “potential.” Untimely ripped from the womb of development, however, it has now wound up at Circle in the Square, where its dim sparks of promise are washed out in the harsh glare of Broadway lights.

For Glory Days is, in every way, literally sophomoric. Its authors, Nick Blaemire and James Gardiner, started writing it after their freshman year in college, and its four characters are mismatched high-school friends reuniting after a year apart—only to learn that, wow, they’ve changed, man. These whining schoolboys—a writer (Steven Booth), a meathead (Andrew C. Hall), a cynic (Adam Halpin) and a gay (Jesse JP Johnson)—seldom stray from cliché, and sing strained rhymes to bland pop melodies. The plot begins with a puerile scheme to set off sprinklers at a football game (to exact retroactive revenge on “the jocks”), and later slides into a maudlin treatise on homophobia.

By charging $97.50 for 85 minutes of musical guidance counseling, the producers do a disservice not only to audiences, but also to this unready show’s young creators and stars. Sometimes it is cruel to be kind. The 2007–2008 season of new Broadway musicals came in like a circus lion with the exuberant Xanadu; with Glory Days, it goes out like a lamb to the slaughter.

Circle in the Square Theatre. Music and lyrics by Nick Blaemire. Book by James Gardiner. Dir. Eric Schaeffer. With ensemble cast. 1hr 25mins. No intermission.