SPUN at Phoenix Theatre

Chris Roe and Lisa Ermel play the sibling leads in SPUN.

In SPUN, an original musical commissioned by Bloomington Playwrights Project, siblings hash out their differing perceptions of the past after the death of their parents.

The construct of the show as a rock concert takes some getting used to. The set list, featuring songs presumably written by the brother and sister characters about their difficult family life, is electrifying, but the writing verges on melodramatic.

The show waffles between engaging and alienating audiences. Provocative music inspires heartfelt moments that are then yanked away from us by cheesy dialogue and cop-out character choices.

Thankfully, actors Lisa Ermel and Chris Roe, as the brother-sister pair in this two-hander, forge an authentic sibling bond. Their journey together from estranged siblings to reunited rock-group is touching. And the four-part band, led by Phoenix's resident music director Tim Brickley, doesn't miss a beat backing up the onstage duo.

In all, SPUN is an interesting new musical with great moments that lacks a sense of cohesion between songs and script.

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