reviewed by Ken Klingenmeier

Mrs. K and I have just finished watching Cardinal Stage Company’s excellent virtual production of Adam Gwon’s sung-thru musical – Ordinary Days – in the comfort of our living room. A stellar cast works through the show’s 19 song catalog with endlessly fine performances, unerringly portraying the coupled stories of the arc of a modern romance and the discovery of a diverse friendship. Mr. Gwon’s popular creation began it’s journey as an Off-West End production in 2008, followed by an Off-Broadway run the following year, before being produced around the globe in the 2010’s.

Director Kate Galvin takes advantage of our theatre community’s challenging Covid-19 misfortune by choosing to stage the musical in film style using both in-home settings and green-screened backgrounds to put her actors in a variety of locales. Her methods give an increased clarity to the numerous places and environments in the show.

The four member cast shines throughout. Julian Diaz-Granados and Kayla Marie Eilers play the romantic couple, Jason and Claire. Their storyline runs the course of a typical twosome’s tale of getting together, growing apart and resolving what their relationship means. They tell their feelings and thoughts with superior vocal talents in both their duets and their solos. Diaz-Granados is gifted with an amazingly versatile range of stylings, while Ms. Eilers can sing sweetly or when necessary belt with the best. Together they provide an engaging account of their characters’ encounters and growth.

Kayla Marie Eilers and Julian Diaz-Granados portray Claire and Jason in Cardinal Stage Company’s production of “Ordinary Days”

Nina Donville and Henry Miller are Deb and Warren, two dissimilar people who come together for friendship’s sake. When Warren finds Deb’s lost dissertation notebook, they begin a comedy of coupling that is filled with both hilarious and meaningful moments. Ms. Donville melds her impressive character acting prowess with a truly wonderful voice. Miller’s talent for playing charm and unyielding idealism are likewise matched by his vocal skills.

Nina Donville and Henry Miller play Deb and Warren in Cardinal Stage Company’s production of “Ordinary Days”

Music director Ray Fellman, who also plays piano as the single accompaniment for the program, must feel very blessed to have the highly diverse and adept cast he inherits here. The sound design by Robert Hornbostel was top-notch, as was the video design and editing by Co-Op Productions.

Bottomline: It was very interesting to see a theatre company take the action off the stage and delve into what amounted to a film-making endeavor. I applaud the methods, which all worked very well for this particular production. Everything comes together quite nicely and we are provided with a very worthwhile entertainment.

Tickets can be purchased for Ordinary Days at Cardinal Stage Company’s webpage Shows | Cardinal Stage . The show is available for streaming through February 21st.