Live Review: Regretting Almost Everything

Livestream New York, NY

Contact: [email protected]

Web: regrettingalmosteverything.com

Players: Danny Ursetti, music & arrangements; Lauren Taslitz, book & lyrics; Beth Leavel, singer; Jeff Blumenkrantz, singer; Paul Staroba, musical director

Material: The launch of an original musical is nothing short of daunting, a journey comprised of many steps from creation to actual staging. Once the creative process is completed, there is usually a reading of the work and/or performance of the songs where potential investors and other production people are invited. In the case of Regretting Almost Everything, the creators have not only recorded all the songs from the show, but put them on various music platforms as well as getting press coverage. 

Regretting Almost Everything, a two-person musical comedy, explores the relationship ups and downs of Anne and Clay, empty nesters, as they experience their new station in life. Without the distractions of caring for children they are faced with the stark reality of each other. This performance showcases four of the show’s songs which occur at the 25-year juncture in their marriage. “Behind The Wheel” finds the couple engaging in a mundane, everyday activity that quickly erodes into an exercise in finger-pointing. Clay sings: I buckle up/I close my eyes/I should have skipped the curly fries/when she’s behind the wheel…and Anne replies: Sixty-five is only a suggestion…and Clay says: But not in the city! In ”No, I don’t (yes, I do),” Anne flirts with the idea of having an affair, but is saddled with ambivalence: I want to be distracted/I want to be consumed and hopelessly attracted/till I’m worse than useless and I don’t care/ I want to have an affair.  But after exploring that notion she adds: But I want to want my old life/that’s why it won’t happen.

Musicianship: Leavel, a Tony-winning actress and singer, has a voice that not only musically puts the song over, but conveys the lyric content with absolute conviction. Blumenkrantz follows suit, and as a composer and lyricist himself, underscores the importance of moving the story forward.

Performance: As seasoned stage actors and singers, they bring this married couple to life in just four songs. Though this is not a staged production of the work, the goal is to let the story unfold as much as possible in this setting. By the conclusion of the performance, this audience can walk away with a clear understanding of the work.

Summary: The success of the show will depend on multiple factors; however, with its solid writing, a universal message, and the right luck, it stands an excellent chance.

– Ellen Woloshin