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Beyond Control, which opened last night with the usual opening night difficulties, ended as a delightful and enjoyable musical. The original musical, written by College senior Adam Abraham and Wharton junior Tony Angeles, was a play with a message. The message within the play was that happiness comes paired with sadness, but that is better than a life that is beyond control and void of emotions. This is explained by the Controller, played by College sophomore Seth Goren, and by his involvement in everyday life. However, this message is explained too quickly at the outset. The Controller rapidly progressed from being happy with his isolated situation to wanting to escape. The dialogue in the first few scenes barely filled the gap between the songs, and the songs were unclear and overpowered by the band. As the show progressed, the script improved a bit, but the individual performances improved a great deal. The score sounded entirely professional and it was hard to believe it was written by amateurs. The lyrics were meaningful and the music was delightful to listen to, whether the song was a solo or a cast ensemble. The script, while enjoyable and funny, sometimes seemed only to fuel the musical score. The characters were simple and sterotypical, like the evil villain and the good-hearted hero. The villain gets his due and everyone lives happily ever after. Goren was credible as the juvenile and socially inept Controller. He brought a sense of innocence and whimsy to a town that had only known schedule and routine. His clumsiness brought humor to the excellently choreographed dance numbers. First-year graduate student Rachel Elfont portrayed the sophisticated heroine, Marlene Sherwood, with an edge of maturity. She changes, with the Controller's help, from a highly organized and uptight company vice president to a woman who could laugh, dance and let her hair down. The situation would not have been complete without the hysterical performance by Wharton sophomore George Anastasiou, who played Ian Lodebotham, the villain and Marlene's love interest. Anastasiou played the crazed egomaniac who could not wriggle out of his mother's control with wit, humor and an incredible snarl. The vocal talents of the cast enhanced the excellent original score. The songs ranged from an upbeat dance number about "Fast Food" to "Never to Me," a melancholy lament about love that never arrives. Despite the flaws, Beyond Control does entertain. The show is about people and emotions, and while cliche at times, it is reminiscent of a more innocent and forgotten time of the Broadway musical. Beyond Control will be performed April 3, 4 and 9 to 11 in Houston Hall auditorium. Tickets are $5 and are available on Locust Walk or at the door.

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