Carvajal Wears Contacts



Typically, a musical without a book would represent a work-in-progress, but this is not true with Green Eyes. Although this new "boy meets girl" love story does not shoot for the moon, it hits what it aims for dead-center. Making its New York debut in this year's Fringe Festival, Green Eyes tells a sweet and simple love story using only song and dance, no dialog. It is a basic story about two twenty-something lovers who meet, fall in love, have a fleeting relationship, face conflicts, and ultimately split up.

Brian Mazzaferri's score moves along quickly, sometimes reminiscent of Rent, with a couple of little gems tucked in along the way. This gives the piece a firm backbone, well complemented by a very competent five-piece orchestra that plays on stage, but the true strength of this production is in its performers and choreography. Celina Carvajal can tell fascinating stories with a single facial expression and a voice designed to make you sit up and listen. There is no mistaking this Broadway veteran's professional background, and I sincerely look forward to seeing her work again, which is inevitable. Nick Blaemire, composer of the ill-fated Glory Days, plays opposite Carvajal. Blaemire strains in his singing some but is overall well suited for his role and remains likable even when his character takes actions contrary to the general desire of the audience. Carvajal and Blaemire act out the story through song, leaving the rest of the narrative to be expressed through dance. Melissa Bloch and Ryan Watkinson give a masterful execution of Lizzie Leopold's inspired choreography. Leopold couldn't have asked more of her dancers as they weave with power and beauty through the story, giving it a greater depth than what the songs themselves can create. The dance element in this piece helps develop another dimension in both the story and the characters and is one of its most vital features.

Green Eyes is not life-changing, but it is a thoroughly pleasant way to pass an hour watching the blossoming and withering of an everyday love story—the kind that means so much to the two involved but often goes unnoticed by outsiders. In short, it is the kind of love story that most of us have known in our own lives. Furthermore, this writer applauds Mazzaferri for opting out of the happy ending that we have all come to expect these days.