Some People Hear Thunder is a new piece of work making its home at the Capital Repertory Theatre. This independent new musical tells the tale of a young journalist who travels the world and reports on it as World War 1 begins. As the story unfolds we see the world through his eyes and through the eyes of others along his journey.
Area favorite Kevin McGuire directs and stars in this independent production, which means that though it stars some Cap Rep favorites on the Rep stage it is not a production produced by the theatre. The Cap Rep season ended with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical last month. This leaves the space in the Rep open giving people the opportunity to show new work.
This tale has an original book, score, and lyrics by Gerson Smoger and Jeffrey Sorkin. The score has a varying sound. Some numbers such as "Go and Travel" have a very fast, electric, and modern sound. Other songs are reminiscent of classics, Les Miserables and Fiddler in particular.
Prakken is joined by Rachel Rhodes-Devey as his love Carole Chapin. Rhodes-Devey, an Albany-area native is back giving a strong and warm performance. Rachel sports a strong, beautifully classic voice that warms the heart. Her old-fashioned toe-tapping performance of the second act dancer "Should I Miss Him?" will make you want her to tap some more.
Alex Prakken plays Jason Karras, the young journalist who we follow around throughout the show. Prakken is a very talented person with an electric voice. His firm yet buoyant performance is strong and enjoyable.
McGuire brings a sweet and strong performance as Zoravar der Kaloustian, a diplomat of sorts to his homeland of Turkey. His voice is even stronger than it was during Camelot last December and his passion for this show shines through. This is a labor of love for McGuire and it shows, bravo.
Joan Hess plays McGuire's Parisian love, Angelique der Kaloustian, who sees the world in a more positive light when it matters most. A lesson we can all learn in this heavy political climate. Hess has a strong and sweet voice used to sing very narrative tales throughout the play. Her performance of the eleven o'clock number "Reach for the World" is big, brash, and beautiful.
This production of Some People Hear Thunder is a world premiere. With that comes some kinks to be worked out. No doubt some energetic but unnecessary dance numbers and a song or two may be cut or replaced. That being said this is an opportunity to see a new story and a labor of love come to life in front of your eyes. Bravo to new adventures on the stage. Some People Hear Thunder plays at the Capital Rep Theatre through Sunday, May 21.