The Wrong Man concluded an off-Broadway run on November 24.
By Rachel M.
This Off-Broadway show centers around a concept album written by songwriter Ross Golan, 2016 BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year who composed Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” and Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love.” The plot tells the case of a wrongly accused man, Duran, played by the wonderful John Henry. His performance and the choreography (by Travis Wall) carry the show. The kernel of a better, stronger play is there but the plot and many of the songs need to be further developed for this story to truly resonate.
We don’t know enough about Duran to really care about him when he loses his steady girlfriend, meets another woman with an evil ex-boyfriend, and gets framed by the other man as revenge. While the musical numbers are emotional and pack a punch, the pace of the story moves along quickly without allowing the audience to become invested in the character.
Like other musicals arranged by orchestrator Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen) all the dialogue comes through the rap-inflected pop songs that make up the show. It’s limiting to have no spoken dialogue and not all the lyrics sufficed in fleshing out enough of an impassioned plea for justice for Duran. But yet, there was a lot to build upon if the people involved with the show see this as a work in progress. Many of the songs were melodic and singable, requiring some tweaking (lots of awkward lines like “statistical anomaly”) but essentially on point. The staging and lighting augmented the performance.
Be on the lookout for The Wrong Man – TV and City thinks this show will be coming around again. And go see anything with John Henry – he’s a true star!