Book, music, and lyrics by Marcus Hummon
Director Michael Bush has, for some reason, decided to barely bother to stage Warrior. That's okay, though: it's barely a musical. It's a lot closer to an oratorio - 80 minutes of people telling the audience things that happened in the life of Jim Thorpe, with five scattered minutes or so of actual interaction between characters. Hummon has crafted some beautiful music (particularly in the choral segments) and some good lyrics, though rarely at the same time. Deven May gives about as good a performance as could be expected with so little to work off of - the script reduced Thorpe to little more than a cipher. Marla Schaffel, glammed up as the show's central narrator - the spirit of Whiskey (I shit you not) - sings her materal well, but mostly acts with her (strikingly impressive) cleavage. Sherrie Austin, the ostensible third lead (Thorpe's first wife), makes no discernable impression whatsoever. A commendation, though, has to go to a fellow named Erick Pinnick, who, though confined to the chorus for most of the show, provides several strong moments toward the end as a black teammate and friend of Thorpe's. The show only comes to life briefly, in the evening's second-to-last song, the exciting "How a Man Oughta Die." It's this number that should be the show's closing; instead, though, it's followed by the blandly anthemic "American Lullaby."