Review: “Fire Island The Musical”

Create Theatre and Prism Stage Company presented the 2022 New Works Festival at Theatre Row. Of particular interest to this publication was the musical “Fire Island the Musical.”

The book and lyrics are by Jarlath Barsanti Jacobs and the music is by Emilio Solla.

The musical starts off as we are introduced to our protagonists: Anne, played by Janelle Farias Sando and Gabe, played by Josh Curran. Both are very personable performers with sweet voices.

One of the first numbers in the show, which turned out to be the best number in the show, is a song, entitled “Fire Island.” It is a song about leaving the hustle and bustle of New York City, taking the train, transferring to the jitney and taking the ferry to the Pines on Fire Island.

That is all the reference to Fire Island. The musical could have taken place in any beach house in East Hampton, in Miami Beach, in Malibu. It wouldn’t have made a difference to the story, which has absolutely nothing to do with Fire Island. It has neither, the flavor, culture, or any references to Fire Island.

It’s as if the creators of this musical have never even visited or been to Fire Island. They just needed a setting for their musical and thought Fire Island would be a nice place to set it and a good title.

If you title your show “Fire Island the Musical,” Fire Island needs to be the focal point of your musical. In this particular case, it is most definitely not!

The plot of this musical focuses on Anne and Gabe, who fall in love, and their trials and tribulations. The other characters are not fleshed out and you don’t know much about them. They seem to just appear and disappear.

The set design by Richard Ouellette, along with the projections of Paul Deziel, are particularly impressive, especially for a festival with several musicals running in repertory. Also impressive is the costume design of Anthony Paul-Cavaretta. There are so many costumes; it seems every time a character leaves the stage, they come back in another outfit. They are beautiful to look at.

If this musical truly wants to take the next step in development, they will need to revamp the book and give the musical focus, and then decide how Fire Island fits in and incorporate it into their musical.