Originally presented at the Lincoln Center, Joey Contreras’ new musical In Pieces explores love and relationships in the heart of New York City. Directed by Louis Rayneau, the musical film features a talented cast with stars including Jordan Luke Gage as Grey, Amy Di Bartolomeo as Alex, Danielle Steers as River and Ross Harmon as Charlie.
The production pieces together the romantic stories of eight individuals, merging musical theatre with pop music to create a versatile soundtrack reflecting the trials and tribulations of different types of relationships. From the upbeat opening number ‘You Never Know’ focusing on love as a journey and taking that leap rather than the anxieties it can cause, to the emotional finale ‘The Fork in the Road’ exploring the struggle of making our own choices, the songs certainly take the audience on quite the emotional journey. Whether you prefer an uplifting anthem or a tearful solo, In Pieces has a playlist that everyone will enjoy.
Delving between so many characters was at times, a little hard to follow, yet each performer offered something new and another story to enjoy. From an online crush to a struggling couple reaching breaking point, the film certainly showcases a real variety of bonds. As musicals often focus on a single love story, it was refreshing seeing numerous perspectives, In Pieces also challenges notions of love, how we define it and how fragmented it can feel. In this film, we see the good, the bad and the ugly as well as everything in between. Although you may not relate to every single story, you’re likely to see some of yourself in at least one of these characters.
A special mention must go to the relationship between Gage and Harmon as Grey and Charlie. The chemistry in their duet ‘Love Wildly’ was adorably sweet, making it a standout moment of the film. Seeing their relationship blossom, especially Grey’s journey of self-discovery through their bond, was an enjoyable watch. Both actors matched each other’s enthusiasm, whilst the talented members of the ensemble gave an impressive dancing performance. Choreographed by Rachel Sargent, the high energy number was both fun and entertaining, the sort of performance that is bound to lift your spirits.
Other highlights include Steers as River, from her first dream-sequence solo to her heart-wrenching final song, Steers was a real powerhouse in every scene she was in. From loved-up and cheerful to jaded and heartbroken, Steers was brilliant all-round, embodying the rollercoaster of emotions many can relate to in their own relationships. This can also be said for Di Bartolomeo as Amy. Her vocals were some of the strongest in the show and paired with her incredible dancing, Di Bartolomeo delivered a truly memorable performance.
Overall, a lot can be said about the extremely talented cast and creative team that brought these complex characters and stories to life. Exploring everything from new love to heartbreak through some thoroughly entertaining numbers, In Pieces is a musical with plenty to offer.
In Pieces is available to stream online from Friday 23rd April – Monday 26th April 2021. Tickets are £15 with 20% of ticket sales going to the LGBT Foundation and can be purchased here: https://www.stream.theatre/season/83
Reviewer: Gemma Prince
Reviewed: 23rd April 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★