by Adam Cohen
There are two kinds of people in the world – those who appreciate the speed, twists and turns of roller coasters – and those who don’t. Whether or not you are a roller coaster aficionado, you will absolutely enjoy the new musical Single Rider which is playing at The Players Theater. This is a joyful, spry, witty new musical created by Amanda D’Archangelis (Music and Book) and Sami Horneff (Lyrics and Book). The show is a celebration of youth, love, and reaching for your dreams and it’s given a sprightly, frisky, fun presentation.
The plot is simple – three Amish girls spend their first day of Rumspringa at Lucky Land amusement park and experience a brush with love and it’s attendant complications.
Abigail (Angela Sclafani) the most reluctant of the three Amish friends to try life outside their community is placed on the single rider line by Lucky Land owner Angela (Alexis Floyd) – a Puck-like pixie who loves love and amusement park rides. On the line, she meets Shane (Clay Singer) – a teen from Florida who loves roller coasters and is avoiding a mom struggling with sobriety. They bond and over the course of the day on rides and playing carnival games, they slowly fall for one another with palpable chemistry.
The book provides distinctive personalities all the characters, especially the Amish girls. Abigail is a pensive artist, Sarah (Kelly Krauter) a suggestive flirt and queen bee, and Moira (Mary Malaney), is cautious but affable – she’s also got the best lines and an unfortunate lisp. It also weaves a compelling tale of adolescents finding their place in the world. There are laugh out loud moments and pensive, quiet sensitive turns by all.
Allison Benko (director) keeps the pace as lively as an actual carnival, minus the long lines. The set is simple but effective. They use a bench for the roller coaster and the actor’s movement to get the dips and turns. It’s a smooth production. The book is witty with great characterizations and sharp lines for leads and the supporting players. Act two throws in a little too much plot turns, which slows the momentum a bit. But the songs are great and the entire cast gets moments to shine. There are wonderful harmonies in the love numbers between Abigail and Shane. Malaney excels in realistically hysterically turn of sexual exploration. There’s so much promise and entertainment in this show. Get on line and experience the loop the loop of Single Rider.
Tickets and more information at https://web.ovationtix.com/