Desperate Measures, based on William Shakespeare’s Measures for Measures is premiering at The York Theatre, and is one of the hottest tickets for Off-Broadway that gives you the same star power and emotional thrills as The Great White Way. With addicting songs written by Peter Kellogg and David Friedman, and directed by Bill Castellino, you are transported to 1800’s Arizona; where corrupt politicians challenge the faith and mortality of a few small-town folk.
Desperate Measures is unabashedly political and religious in its satire, but does so in a way that is warm and filled with hilarious hi-jinks. While Susanna (Emma Degerstedt), a nun, and Johnny Blood (Conor Ryan), a criminal ready to hang, are the guiding leads, Desperate Measures shines because of the kooky secondary characters they encounter. You have Peter Saide as Sheriff Martin Green who will give ladies a Mr. Darcy vibe then you have Father Morse (Gary Marachek) and Governor Von Richterhenkenpflichtgetruber (Nick Wyman) are so outlandishly cynical that it is without irony that they are both the most political and religious characters. One believes there is no God and one believed there is no good, but both are struggling to solidify their say in the matter through show-stopping laughs and even numbers like, “Someday The Will Thank Me”. Yet, Lauren Molina as Bella Rose steals the show as a saloon prostitute with more heart, positivity, and generosity than any other character. You wait eagerly for what punch-line she will throw, wisdom she will give, or high-note she will steal as in “It’s Getting Hot In Here” and “Just For You”. Yet, though she may shine as an epicenter of comedy, the whole show is filled with powerful voices and a few humbling lessons.
At two hours and 15 minutes with a 15 minute intermission, Desperate Measures is a brisk, good time filled with numbers that is rich in arrangements and powerful ballads such as, “In The Dark” and “Life Takes You By Surprise”. Ryan, Saide, and Degerstedt hit notes that can last lifetimes or as long as the Arizona, night sky, which will leave you impressed. Yet, more importantly, their lyrics and even fleeting phrases have sincere, societal commentary. While Kellog wrote Desperate Measures with Shakespearean verbosity and rhythm, he clearly etched it to be a musical about the universal struggle between corruption and care. How we label each other measures how we treat each other, and Desperate Measure show we need to do better, but, until then, we just have to keep working harder at happier endings. For More Information On Desperate Measures, which runs until , Click Here.Location: The York Theatre Company, 619 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 54th Street), New York, NY 10022