Two men, two women, 21 songs and some genuine ideas about how our lives intersect with one another— even among the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. All this is presented in Ordinary Days, Adam Gwon’s bright musical set in New York City.
The show, which debuted in 2008, will see a new Cutting Edge Theatre Company production beginning on May 17, at the Center for Performing Arts at the University of Toledo.
“It is about two couples— one couple is romantically involved, one is not,” said Stephanie L. Dennehy, the show’s director and choreographer, as well as Cutting Edge’s Artistic Director. It looks at “just how interconnected we really are, (although we) seem to be distracted by other things. And then, at the end, we all have kind of a nice little happy moment.”
Although she is an artist with 30 years of theatrical experience, Dennehy had never seen— or heard of— Ordinary Days before it was submitted to Cutting Edge as a possible production for its 2018-19 season. Sarah Stierman, a member of Cutting Edge’s board, suggested the show as part of the company’s “pick a show” initiative, allowing people to submit ideas for the upcoming season.
“We chose to go forward with it, because we really liked the music and thought the presentation was good. So this is an interesting dynamic, because it’s not something that we searched out and selected for our season, it was presented to us and we accepted.”
The show’s small cast and tight, 90-minute length both fit well within the comfort zone for Cutting Edge’s productions. The group doesn’t shy away from bigger productions— Hair, Cabaret, etc.— but really has specialized in more intimate pieces since the company’s founding in 2015.
Quirky and simple
“I love quirky, off the cuff musicals. And Cutting Edge is trying to, if you will, find our niche— we’re trying to add our own spin on smaller to medium-sized musicals. Our last show was I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, that was a four-person show. We did a show called First Date, that was a seven person show.”
What has Dennehy and Cutting Edge most excited about Ordinary Days may be its performance space— the Center Stage at UT’s Center for Performing Arts. This show will give the company a chance to stretch its legs, production-wise— though don’t expect anything too lavish, either.
“I like simple, really pared down, so we’re just using platforms, some black boxes, a couple of media things that we may use,” Dennehy said. “The costuming will be— it’s very current, so they’ll be able to wear everyday clothing, it won’t be anything period-wise.”
Throughout her career, Dennehy has gravitated toward shows with distinct characters and a real focus on relationships— and in this way her production of Ordinary Days feels like it fits right in her canon. “Whether you’re mad at me, or happy, or sad, [I hope] that you really enjoyed the journey with us. That it was an experience. I really want the audience to be emotionally engaged with the people on the stage.”
May 17-19 | 8pm, Friday-Saturday | 2:30pm, Sunday
The University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts
1910 W. Rocket Dr.
734-717-8776 | cuttingedgetheatre.org