Peter D. Kramer

Posts Tagged ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever’

Analyst, heal thyself

In Reviews on December 12, 2011 at 6:59 am

One can’t help but wonder if an analyst’s care might have prevented “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” the mess of a musical that opened last night at the St. James Theatre on Broadway, a big bipolar and jaw-droppingly embarrassing work directed and “reconceived” by Michael Mayer, who had success with “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Spring Awakening” and “American Idiot.”

Mayer, it seems, always loved listening to the cast recording of the 1965 Burton Lane-Alan Jay Lerner musical about a girl, her shrink, and the woman she once was. In the original story, Daisy has ESP and a past life as Melinda Wells, who lived in the 18th century. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Bruckner, hypnotizes Daisy and falls in love with Melinda, making for a bizarre love triangle.

Mayer loved the music, but not the book, which he calls “problematic.”

Then, 15 years ago, while directing “Side Man” at Vassar College, he had a breakthrough. He could save this musical.

What was his vision at Vassar? His epiphany in Poughkeepsie?

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