Posted in Allison Case, Bryce Ryness, Fly By Night, Kim Rosenstock, Michael McCormick, musical, musical theater, Peter Friedman

Under a starry sky

Patti Murin and Bryce Ryness
as Joey Storms in “Fly By
Night.”
Photo by Joan Marcus
Henry Stram and Allison Case as
Miriam in a scene from “Fly By
Night,”
at Playwrights Horizons.
Photo by Joan Marcus.
Adam Chanler-Berat as Harold,
Patti Murin as Daphne in
“Fly By Night.” Photo by
Joan Marcus.

Patti Murin and Allison Case
in a scene from “Fly By Night.”
Photo by Joan Marcus

Like the stars in big city skies, things are sometmes lost when the bright lights are found or turned on.

In “Fly By Night,” a musical at Playwrights Horizons through June 29th, two sisters from South Dakota find themselves under the bright lights of New York City.

It’s almost always better to be shown than told, so the early appearance of the Narrator (Henry Stram) in “Fly By Night” was cause for pause. No need to have worried. “Fly By Night” is for the most part a touchingly funny and lovely musical play. The ending (partial spoiler alert) is however a downer.

Miriam (Allison Case) reluctantly accompanies her sister Daphne (Patti Murin) in her quest for stardom. In New York City, Daphne meets Harold (Adam Chanler-Berat,) a sandwich maker with a guitar. Daphne also meets Joey Storms (Bryce Ryness,) a playwright determined to make her his muse. The triangle is squared off when Miriam meets Harold.

The story, conceived by Kim Rosenstock,who wrote it in collaboration with Will Connolly and Michael Mitnick, is part boy meets grils, and part “My Sister Eileen.” 

“Fly By Night” treads delicately over serious even sad themes. These include ambition, or the lack of it, achievement, and acceptance.

Oddly since this is a musical, the music goes unbilled  “Fly By Night.” We note that co-author Will Connolly is a musician and make the leap that he should be creditied with the music. The musical director, conductor and on-stage keyboardist is Vadim Feichtner, who leads Foe Destroyer (the band) with Chris McQueen on electric guitar, Daniel Garcia on bass guitar and keyboard, and Cade Sadler on drums and acoustic guitar.

Adam Chanler-Berat’s goofy charm makes his feckless Harold alluring. As Miriam, Allison Case is perfectly fidgety and uncertain, while her voice soars. Standing out is tough when the whole cast shines as it does here, but Bryce Ryness is wonderful as Joey Storms, the writer with too much to say. The veteran Michael McCormick, playing Harold’s boss Crabbie, gets a chance to strut his stuff in “Fly By Night” as well. There are a few too many eleven o’clock numbers, but thankfully Mr. McClam (Peter Friedman) gets his in and it’s a doozy.

So often, too many authors spoil the plot, but here three seems a good balance. “Fly By Night” is a musical about fate and the stars that, like its stars, is very appealing.

Visit Playwrights Horizons to learn more about “Fly By Night,” and to check for tickets.