In these days of sequels and knockoffs, originality is a rarity. Middle 8 is a fresh idea from storyline to presentation. A middle aged family man hopes to achieve fame by reuniting his former band. Okay, maybe the story is not so unusual, but it is the execution that makes it unique.
The band is played by The Four Postmen, an actual five piece band, talented musicians with great three part harmony and a delicious sense of humor. But Middle 8 is not all music and laughs. There are deep-rooted emotional conflicts within these men that sometimes strain their relationships with each other.
Happily married Adam (Matt Kaminsky) reveals an angst that sends him on a quest for overdue stardom. Chris (Stefan Marks) drives his family away with his insults and negativity. Lee’s (Ken Weiler) cynicism causes him to lose his fortune.
Stefan Marks not only wrote and acted in this play, he directed it, wrote the music and collaborated on the set design. The dialogue and song lyrics flow naturally and provoke thought. But it is a group effort and the acting is cohesive. The Skype scene between Adam and Cassidy (Brittany Joyner) is so realistic one can almost taste the toast she is eating. When the remaining (think older) bandmates attempt to perform hip hop, the results are hilarious.
We care about these people, we rejoice with them, we mourn with them.
“Middle 8” plays at Stella Adler Theatre located at 6773 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm through December 15, with two additional matinees December 8 and December 15 at 3pm. The Friday, November 23 show will be an ASL Interpreted Performance. For tickets visit FourPostmen.com/middle8.