Artbeat Theatre Group’s, Barely Even There is about 12 year old Grace living through her parents divorce. It’s a three-handed quirky musical about the collapse of a nuclear family.
Should you see it?
Barely Even There is a musical about a family breaking apart. Set as a flashback piece from the divorce lawyer’s office, workaholic Charlie and his soon to be ex-wife Amy retell the highlights of their decade-plus relationship, including the birth of their daughter, Grace.
The music of Barely Even There is good. Bryan Cook plays piano like a boss on stage. Both J.P. Chartier (Charlie) and Maude Thennon-Richard (Amy) have strong vocal abilities. And Camille Simard-Langlois (Grace) has the voice of an angel. My only wish is that I could hear/understand her better. Even mic’d it was an issue sometimes.
Where Barely Even There fell a bit flat was emotional resonance. Putting a child on stage and putting them in physical or emotional danger is the easiest way possible to pull on heart strings and so Grace is where more of the focus of the story should have been. As is, too much of the show is spent on recapping Charlie and Amy’s relationship –meeting, deciding to move in together, and the like – which, to be honest, is pretty unremarkable and not all that interesting. They love(d) each other. They’re getting a divorce. We get it. While there were one or two strong moments between them, primarily when they were fighting and we saw/felt the stakes, the real heart of the show was, or should have been, Grace because it was only while in the midst of her story that Barely Even There made me care.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think? Did I miss the boat on this one? Should more of the focus of the show been on Grace? Let me know what you think in the comments below.