CCP’s 2014-2015 season kicked off this weekend with Ordinary Days, Adam Gwon’s surprisingly engaging 2010 musical about four young people in New York City. The storyline of the show follows Jason, Claire, Deb and Warren as they endeavor to survive through travails that include relationships, hopes, misguided aspirations, love and friendship. It is mainly split into two tales – a romantic one between Jason and Claire, and a platonic one between Deb and Warren. We watch as the couples discover their needs in each relationship, the conflicts that hinder those needs and the changes that resolve their situations. The songs are lively and pleasing, the action is brisk and compelling, and the effect is such that although you do not exit the theatre humming any tunes, you are glad you came to the theatre and witnessed what is a very impressive and thought-provoking show.

Gwon’s work is made all the more impressive by a cast of talented performers under the careful direction of Carlo Nepomuceno. In the role of Jason, Onis Dean projects a wonderful sense of his character’s joys and his struggles. These skills are boosted by Dean’s pleasing vocal quality and his easy stage-presence. Virginia Vasquez Vought is lovely as Jason’s strangely troubled girlfriend, Claire. With notably strong singing talents, she strikingly conveys her role’s disquiet underpinnings, which seem somewhat mysterious until we hear Ms. Vought’s heart-breaking rendition of “I’ll Be Here”. D. Scott Robinson, in his CCP debut, brings to life the quirky, unfulfilled Warren. Robinson’s characterization is straight-forward and delightful as he brings Warren’s view of the world into focus with many humorous touches and an especially professional overall performance. As Deb, the vocally gifted Stacia Hulen brings her engaging and original style to the portrayal of a young student in a complex NYC. Ms. Hulen’s standout vocal qualities are most pleasing and as I listened to her singing, I could not help but think – “this is a girl who needs to audition for The Voice“. Her understanding of Deb’s challenges, and her funny, exuberant, winning performance added much enjoyment to an already satisfying show.

“Ordinary Days” cast members (clockwise from top) D. Scott Robinson (Warren), Virginia Vasquez Vought (Claire), Stacia Hulen (Deb), and Onis Dean (Jason)

All these actors and actresses gave beautiful, honest offerings to the audience – raising what is a wonderful libretto to “must-see” status. Congratulations to director Nepomuceno and his staff of designers and technicians on a superb production!

Ordinary Days continues at Carmel Community Playhouse in Clay Terrace through October 5th. Information about tickets, and show dates and times can be found by going to http://www.carmelplayers.org or by calling the CCP box office at 317-815-9387.