by Alicia Anstead
Bit by bit. That’s how Putting It Together comes to life. A little bit of humor, a little bit of anger, a smidge of infidelity and flirtation. The scene is a cocktail-swilling, pearl-swirling guest list of upper-crust characters singing their hearts out about (essentially) how overrated, flawed and slippery happiness is. They laugh through their fears, dance through their greed and raise a toast to all the pain and glory of their lives.
You would think the ultra-adult themes would be a disconnect for people under 25. They should be a disconnect for people under 25. And yet the five all-star singer-actors and the orchestra for this show do more than put it together. They will it to life. It’s part cabaret, part therapy session.
If the rest of us could take two hours in the spotlight to sing out about losing love and finding ourselves, we’d all feel a little bit better. Especially if we could sing Sondheim as effortlessly as this cast does.
But if you don’t have that kind of gumption or talent, being in the audience for Putting It Together is a very good option. The show, which is less about plot than about hitting those blasted Sondheim notes while staying in character, runs through Oct. 3 at the Ex.