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The Flood

Presented by Prospect Theater Company at the Flamboyán Theatre in the Clemente Soto Veléz Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk St., NYC, May 17-27.

Peter Mills and Cara Reichel offer a stark and stirring portrayal of courage and conviction in "The Flood." This study of the anticipation and aftermath of a natural disaster features down-to-earth dialogue and situations that give the show a slice-of-life quality rarely found in the musical theatre genre.

Based loosely on events that took place in Illinois in 1993, the plot follows a group of local merchants and members of the community of Meyerville, a fictitious town in the Midwest gearing up to face a potential flooding of their farmland. Despite the impending storm, these neighbors and friends are determined to maintain their daily routines, working and socializing and courting with one another. But the rising river will not be ignored, and soon the townspeople must band together to protect their possessions, their dreams, and themselves.

Musical director Mills and director Reichel collaborated on the score as well as the book. The sensitive solos and duets subtly hit their mark, while the vigorous group numbers wash over the audience with explosions of emotion and honesty. Outstanding songs include "One Hundred Years," "Runaways," and "From Here."

They have also cast a solid group of actor-singers. Richard Todd Adams is quietly persuasive as a prosperous but kind-hearted landowner. Lawrence Brustofski brings a stern moodiness to the role of a stubborn neighbor. Jennifer Blood and Kate Bradner are compelling as his two strong-willed daughters, and Gavin Creel is invigorating as the restless young man who comes between them. Mary Mossberg delivers concern and conviction as a woman torn between the promise of love and a life on her own. Like the community it portrays, the entire acting ensemble forms a strong bond on stage.

Technical support by Sarah Rosa (set), Jiyoiun Chang (lighting), David Kaley (costumes), and Katie Oman (props) complete the compelling stage picture.

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