Will Chase and Jenn Colella reprise ‘High Fidelity’ roles for 54 Below concerts

High Fidelity was gone too soon. The musical that asks us the age-old question “did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” ran at the Imperial Theatre for just a few short weeks in December of 2006. With a stellar cast and a dream creative team (book by David Lindsay-Abaire and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Amanda Green), High Fidelity was sorely missed after its Broadway closing.

"High Fidelity."

“High Fidelity.”

Fans of the short-lived Broadway production will see their wildest dreams come true with a special concert version of High Fidelity at 54 Below hosted on May 19 and 20. Could there be hope for other much-loved productions that met their demise too early?

All that’s clear is that High Fidelity has been remembered, both by its fans and the theatre community. Broadway often has a tendency to nurture and inject new life into brilliant pieces of work that ended too soon. Fans of other short-lived musicals can retain a little hope that at some point the production will make its way back to the stage, at least for a short while.

High Fidelity is a coming of age story about Rob Fleming, a thirty-something record store owner who is living in perpetual adolescence. Rob’s girlfriend Laura breaks up with him and he finds himself reexamining his impulsive emotional choices and prior relationships in order to win Laura back. Taking cues from his quirky record store employees and the musicians he idolizes, Rob finds his way to emotional adulthood but not without a few stumbles. After evaluating his previous relationships, he at last overcomes his fear of commitment and gets Laura back.

Will Chase and Jenn Colella, who played Rob and Laura in the original Broadway cast, will be reprising their roles. The concert will also include the talents of Adam Chanler-Berat and Ana Gasteyer. The Indigo Girls will be featured in the cast in the performance scheduled for May 19.

High Fidelity has long had a major following among the fans of the 1995 novel and subsequent film the musical is based on. After it closed on Broadway, the musical was produced in regional theatres all over the country in cities like St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Fullerton. The show’s cast recording has allowed the score to reach countless new fans long after their marquee at the Imperial went dark.

Will Chase and Jenn Colella in "High Fidelity."

Will Chase and Jenn Colella in “High Fidelity.”

High Fidelity brings with it a youthful, optimistic energy that makes for a pleasant refuge from the all-too-common “doom and gloom” attitude that accompanies many coming of age stories. It also provides us with a live version of those timeless one-liners that were immortalized in the film version of the story and endless opportunities to come up with our own “Desert Island Top 5” lists. What could be better than that? 

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About Claire H.

Writer, performer, picture-taker, New Yorker. Find me on Twitter at @Claire_Hannum.

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