Tonika Todorova is an adventure architect and a passionate lover of the shared human experience.
Pictured: Kedgrick Pullums Jr., Thomas Squires, and Jeff Meyer. Photo by Zeke Dolezalek.
Musical Theatre isn’t really famous for its intimacy. But if you are into THINGS TO RUIN, intimacy you get. And immediacy. And certainly quite a bit of passion.
In many ways, this production resembles the musical Hair — character driven songs with minimal plot interwoven that speaks more about the state of mind of a generation than the ins and outs of a climactic story. Yet, this show doesn’t lack poignancy as a tight ensemble taps into the diseased complacency of youth, the loneliness of any human anywhere, and the hope and dream that, no matter who you are, one day you can stand tall and let the world know that you are here.
From a song dedicated to whiskey (ahem! Yes, please) to a tune about going to war with some blasé bells on (yikes!) to not being picked for dodgeball, not even in the last round (who can’t resonate with that?!), composer Joe Iconis manages to extract deep human concerns through what one would consider somewhat ordinary circumstances. And therein lies the beauty of this show. It doesn’t hurt that the talented cast comes with a solid shot of moxie. On the rocks. At the No Exit.
Perhaps my evening is best described in the form of a question coming from my six-year-old son when in the silence following an incredibly high-powered number he asked with disappointment “Is it over?” Luckily, there was one more number we could bob our heads to.