Songs From an Unmade Bed

This lively gay-themed song cycle, with lyrics by Mark Campbell and music by 18 different composers, is more substantial than it initially seems. Since each song is a separate vignette offering a different view of the world, there’s no chance for it to develop the dramatic momentum of a play, yet each song is a miniature drama. The themes range from the celebratory (“To Sing,” by Peter Foley) to the cheerily elegiac (“I Miss New York,” by Peter Golub), from the passing of youth (“Oh, to Be Stupid Again,” by Duncan Sheik) to wittily described sexual contretemps (Steven Lutvak’s “Exit Right,” about the pitfalls of sex with an actor). Campbell’s lyrics are always clever, and the music — more art songs than pop anthems — offers a consistent style, despite multiple composers. Singer-actor Dave Barrus brings an excellent voice, genuine musicality, subtlety and easy charm, neatly capturing the rueful insouciance of the songs. Patrick Pearson directs with unobtrusive finesse, and the onstage musicians (music director Jake Anthony on piano and Stephen Green on cello) provide unbuttoned humor as well as impeccable expertise. Kurt Boetcher’s pastel-tinted set, in nursery colors, belies the occasionally darker subtexts, but it’s buoyantly pretty. Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: June 6. Continues through Aug. 10, 2008


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