'Crude' Treats Serious Subject With Music And Humor

By: Amy Tagliaferri

Ann Vohs as Cassidy and Bill Farrell as Leo in “Crude, A Climate Change Musical” at the Cape Cod Theatre Company. COURTESY PHOTO

It’s not often that you have the opportunity to be present when someone’s dream comes true. Maureen Condon wanted to write a play that made a difference. “Crude, The Climate Change Musical” is Condon’s dream, because she “believes in the power of the arts to shape the future.” She’s already seen her musical as an official selection of the New York Musical Festival, and now the world premiere has been held at the Cape Cod Theatre Company/Harwich Junior Theatre.

The playwright/composer has written a play/musical with a modern message that plays out like an old time movie. The story of a smart daughter, gruff dad, sneaky boyfriend, and then love at first sight with an unexpected guy is a familiar plot, but Condon adds a timely message. It’s time to face climate change and the consequences of ignoring it as a fact and not let mercenary corporations have their way any longer, even if the greedy son-of-a-gun is your father.

“My nightmare is your dream!” bemoans CEO of Global Inc. Leo Sullivan to his daughter Cassidy, an environmentalist.

Director Frances Covais Lautenberger tackles the subject head on with a cast filled with Cape theater veterans and a few newcomers. Cassidy is full of righteous indignation and Anne Vohs plays her with sass and determination. Cape favorite Terrence Brady is reporter Brian Scribner who spies a story that could make him famous. Brady never disappoints, and his duet with Vohs on “For All You Know” was moving. Bill Farrell’s Leo looks and acts his part to a T. Susanna Creel (Kelly, Cassidy’s sister and sidekick in the “hostile takeover”) has a lovely singing voice, and her duets with Matt (Vaughn Yerkes) are worth mentioning. Debbie Barrette as Judy, Leo’s wife and Cassidy’s mother, visibly displays dilemma after dilemma with true angst. For comic relief, Cape theatergoers will recognize Karen McPherson and enjoy her “Hold, Please Continue to Hold” number immensely.

The delightful ensemble handle the song and dance numbers like “The Temp Song” with panache, especially standouts Shiloh Pabst, Jillian Annessi and Glenn Starner-Tate. Bob Moore, Brienna Notaro, Mathew Lautenberger and Seamus Sartin round out the energetic cast. Musical director Chris Morris on keyboard, Dick Stocks, guitar and Joe Mayer, drums were hidden at the back of the set and sounded great. Stage manager/lightboard operator Cella Mariani and sound operator David Baker were never seen but contributed much.

Kudos to Vohs on her myriad costume changes, especially the geisha girl one! Lautenberger was responsible for the costume design along with directorial duties. The detailed costumes were framed nicely by the simple set and lighting designs (James P. Byrne). Maxie Davidson (choreographer) and Matthew Kohler (tech director and sound design) added their talents to the many production numbers.

This production is about going green, and is itself a little green in spots, but it’s an enjoyable show with an important message. Climate change is real and needs to be talked about.


"Crude, The Climate Change Musical"

At the Cape Cod Theatre Company, Harwich

Through Nov. 10

Information and reservations: 508-432-2002 ext. 2, www.capecodtheatrecompany.org