★★★★ | Now & Then, Above the Stag Theatre
Above the Stag’s current show has lots of great songs with very good performances and a plot that is so unique and different.
Now & Then tells the story of a gay couple through three different times in their lives. And in order to do this, they need six different actors to play these six parts, and every one of them is wonderful in their own way.
We get Daniel 1 and Greg 1 (Dylan Wynford and Freddie Woodyatt) are when the couple first meet, at a young and tender age – where both are smitten with each other. Then in middle age, we see Taylor Rettke and Rhys Taylor, while Richard Costello and Leo Andrew play them in their older age.
Greg was always the sensible one, while Daniel was the dreamer – he’s a country and western singer (a very good one at that) who actually never really made it big.
So, as the title reflects, it’s ‘Now & Then’ – time to reflect on the past and to accept the present. Of course, regrets linger as the couple gets older, and Daniel’s drinking problem nearly causes them to break up, but it’s their true love for each other that gets them to older age and still a couple. Without singling any of the actors out, kudos go to Costello as the older Daniel- he sings beautifully, and when he sings at the end with the song ’Solitary Man’ he is just as perfect as it gets.
Go see Now & Then – not just for the unique storyline but also for the very good songs, all in harmony with each other, with the show, and the actors. It’s just beautiful.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.