The Burnt Part Boys

Mariana Elder, Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen’s ambitious and accomplished hothouse-bluegrass musical, set in rural West Virginia in 1962, is a Stand by Me–style coming-of-age adventure story but also a somber look at the aftermath of tragedy. Using the rudiments of a wooden set, director Joe Calarco and his strong cast find inventive ways to depict the tale of teenagers on a pilgrimage to the mine where their fathers died years earlier. The musical takes a slow-burn approach to its storytelling, but builds to a satisfying conflagration.—Adam Feldman


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