Edit ModuleShow Tags

Two Thumbs Up for ‘Up Here’

La Jolla Playhouse’s newest musical has all the makings of a mega hit.


Published:

Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical Up Here | Photo by Matthew Murphy

Let’s face it, everyone is a little neurotic, especially when it comes to romance. Ah, love. That razor-sharp line between total bliss and utter misery is the foundation for a lot of great art.

In the history of musical theater, Stephen Sondheim was one of the first composer/lyricists to move away from the happy-go-lucky songs of Rogers and Hammerstein and get real. His songs were sometimes funny, oftentimes dark, and much more honest than audiences had experienced before.

Enter Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the dream team behind La Jolla Playhouse’s latest musical Up Here.

This world-premiere production follows the story of thirty-something computer nerd Dan and his attempts to find love, which are thrown off course by the self-destructive voices in his head.

It’s hysterical and relatable, clever and endearing—a truly modern musical for the next generation of quick-witted, tech-savvy, jean-wearing theatergoers.

San Diego is incredibly lucky to have the Lopez duo to add to its roster of talent. The married couple, which won an Academy Award for their work on Disney’s Frozen, has been developing Up Here for more than a decade and ultimately chose La Jolla Playhouse for its debut. In addition to Frozen, Robert Lopez was also part of the creative team behind Avenue Q and the Book of Mormon. The fact that he and his wife are here really says a lot about our city and the quality of its performing arts community.

Up Here opened on Sunday to much laughter and a rousing standing ovation.

Critically speaking, the journey into Dan’s head, with its wonderful bank of characters and Dan’s super-cool t-shirt collection, works best in Act I. The musical loses its footing in the second act with two subplots—one geological, one mathematical—that, although charming and informative, take away from the main love story.  

But then again, true to the show’s theme, maybe I am overthinking. After all, “We are not our thoughts!”

For more on the show’s stars, click here.

For our interview with Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, click here.

Up Here runs through September 6. lajollaplayhouse.org

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Gift of a Lifetime

A ceremony began Annabelle and Robert Villarreal’s life together, a surgery saved it

San Diego Holiday Guide 2018

Spiked eggnog, decadent desserts, ugly sweater parties, craft workshops, toy drives and more—‘tis the season to get festive

5 San Diego Authors to Read in 2019

New titles from local writers on homelessness, education, breaking the glass ceiling and more
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country

Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana

Win a Trip for Two to Yellowstone Country Montana

Win a trip for two to Bozeman, Montana including roundtrip airfare and lodging
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Win a Trip for Two to Yellowstone Country Montana
    Win a trip for two to Bozeman, Montana including roundtrip airfare and lodging
  2. Sushi’s Next Gen Is Here at Himitsu
    In La Jolla, a Sushi Ota protégé sticks to an age-old tradition of quality
  3. 10 Hot Plates: San Diego's Top Food News in October
    The latest restaurant rumors, openings, and coming-soons
  4. San Diego Events Calendar: October 2018
    How to be busy and important this month in San Diego
  5. San Diego's Top Doctors 2018
    Our annual list of 717 physicians in 88 specialties, plus five physicians open up about the emotional burdens of their fields
  6. Incoming: The Hold Fast
    One of the country’s top sustainable sushi chefs is opening a handroll bar serving 100-percent local seafood
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module