By Georg Dittlbacher, March 2018
Ohio is number one in opioid related deaths in the US. One of the most unusual ways to combat the ever rising drug problem is ¨Dead Serious About Life.¨ It is a musical written about the taboo themes of growing up. Abortion, alcohol, drugs, religion, sex and suicide are all themes touched upon – themes most American parents don’t educate their kids enough about.
The show succeeds in its basic premise but it suffers from major tone problems in its first act. It fails in setting up the characters and in inducing the house party feel. No background noise and music made natural dialog sound robotic and created awkward pauses. The composition of the sets and the placements of the actors is almost renaissance like which also detracts from the loose house party feel it should evoke .We get told how characters act rather than seeing them act.
The second act improves on the tone and finally pays off the emotional set up. We get some unexpected heartfelt moment.Andrew (played by Jake Anderson) suddenly commits suicide.The portrayal of the other character’s grief is relatively close to life . It definitely saved the message of the play.
Singing-wise the cast was divided into two very different levels of quality. The contrast between the bad fitting comic relief song and the genuinely well-sung ballads is stark. This lack of consistency diminishes the artistic value of the the play
All-in-all the school should definitely keep hosting events like this, even if the production was far from perfect . It was filled with dedicated young actors who had fun and cared about the very important message it communicated. Our school is a perfect place to showcase plays about issues like these.