REVIEW: Horizons of Gold

When I first heard about this new musical, HORIZONS OF GOLD, I was skeptical.  A show set in the Dust Bowl adapted from the Biblical story of Ruth seemed . . . I don’t know . . . Cheesy, maybe?  Was it going to be a “church musical?”  Would it be any good?

Suffice it to say, it’s more than good.  This is a wonderful new work, written by a team of four people – Beth Kenniv, Jeff Smith, James Kenniv, and Dave Thompson, that does exactly what it sets out to do:  inspire.  With an eye on the high school and college drama education market, this show is overloaded with characters and is quite long.  But the songs are hummable, the characters well-developed, and the opportunities for students or community theatre groups to cast as many auditioners as turn out.

And this particular production was pretty darn impressive.

Presented at Miami University in Hamilton’s Parrish Auditorium, the show certainly packed in a large crowd.  And they all sat attentively to the over 90 minute first act with awe; for many of the children in attendance this may have been the first time they’ve seen anything like this.  I’m glad their experience was such a positive one.

Claire Smith (“Rose”) and Katelyn Fox (“Margaret”) both shone brightly in their leading roles, handling the traditional score with soaring vocals.  They were believable actresses, too, despite Fox playing a woman nearly twice her age with no wig or makeup.  But I guess when you have a voice like hers you can get away with just about anything.  The supporting cast performed with varying degrees of excellence; the director was able to feature folks in the right way throughout the performance.  I enjoyed myself very much.

HORIZONS OF GOLD is a piece that will likely be performed in various venues around the country as more and more folks learn about it.  You can help spread the word if you are in a position to do so by sharing their web site, Horizons of Gold.

Support new works and support new artists.  And support good theatre.  By sharing information about this show, you’ll be doing all three.