Nov 23 & 24, 2002
It's been a while since Kevin's played the "nice" character, the one that we all sympathize with and who, by getting his heart broken, breaks ours as well. Kevin did a great job playing sheriff Joe Sutter, whose only ambition was to be on the first train out of the small town of Gilead.
Kevin did an excellent job in portraying the small town sheriff, giving the character the sweetness and charm of a country boy, yet not allowing the character to appear too amiable. In a particularly touching scene in which Joe finally revealed his feelings for Percy, we could actually hear a distinct change in his forceful voice - becoming sweeter & softer as he revealed his feelings for her. And when he turned around to sing, "...I don't want to live my life alone..." even though the character never said the words "marry me" - just the simple look on Kevin's face and the intonation of his voice said it all... it was wonderful.
And his voice was remarkable - as always! I realize that not all musical theatre performers can acturately pull off the folksy nature of the songs in "Spitfire Grill", but Kevin's voice seemed perfectly suited for it. He was especially mesmerizing in "Forest for The Trees" - though it was a shame that the song was situated in the program in a place where the audience couldn't adequately show their appreciation for his great solo. He was also magnificant in "This Wide Woods" and "Ice & Snow", but I think the vocal highlight for me in this show was hearing Kevin sing, "And now that out-bound train has one less passenger..." It was just fabulous - all four times that I saw it.
The show itself was touching and beautifully staged with a couple of other stand out performances by Kim Huber (who was excellent as the shy Shelby - who learns to stand up for herself) and Katherine Blake (who did a wonderful job filling in for Misty Cotton). I loved the show, it was such a refreshing change to see a show that was so uplifting and full of hope that it actually made audiences leave the theatre more enriched than when they came in.