Theater with Punch
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Theater with Punch

1st Stage’s “Floyd Collins”; Original, stunning musical.

From left -- Evan Casey (as Floyd Collins) and John Sygar (Homer Collins) in "Floyd Collins" at 1st Stage in Tysons Corner.

From left -- Evan Casey (as Floyd Collins) and John Sygar (Homer Collins) in "Floyd Collins" at 1st Stage in Tysons Corner. Photo by Teresa Castracane/Courtesy of 1st Stage

Where and When

1st Stage presents “Floyd Collins” at 1524 Spring Hill Road, Tysons.

Performances now through June 26. Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $35, Seniors (65+) $32, students and military $15.

Call 703-854-1856 or visit http://www.1ststa...">www.1ststagetyson...

A daring musical awaits patrons at 1st Stage Theater. It is the award-winning, rarely produced, “Floyd Collins.” It is an extraordinary tale of a man chasing his dreams, but finding only short-lived celebrity and then tragedy. “Floyd Collins” will rivet audiences to their seats as the heartfelt show unfolds with gorgeous American roots music.

“Floyd Collins” is based upon the real-life Floyd Collins who tried to make a mark and fortune by turning a cave in Kentucky into a tourist attraction in the winter of 1925. He became a media sensation in the days well before social media when he became trapped inside a cave. “Floyd Collins” was written by Tina Landau, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel.

The large cast production is confidently directed by Nick Olcott, The nearly 20 musical numbers are under the direction of William Yanesh with a four member band. The original Americana music ranges from dreamy, romantic and optimistic to dissonant, edgy and into the depths of despair. Beyond the songs sung by the central cast members are several multi-cast numbers that bring a happy carnival-like atmosphere to the evening’s journey.

Evan Casey plays the show’s central character, Floyd Collins. Casey not only sings with a splendid deep resonance, but provides emotional intensity that draws an audience to him and his predicament. The audience will easily become so sympathetic the predicament of Floyd Collins stuck in a cave trying to stay sane that they may want to help dig him out rock by rock.

Other actors clearly earn audience attention. Maggie Donelly plays Floyd’s mentally anguished sister. Her singing is like an angel in heartbreak. When she steps about the stage, she makes sorrow visible with her jagged choreographed movements

The key role of a newspaper reporter who becomes more than a reporter is played winningly by Edward C. Nagal. He becomes a stand-in for the audience; uncertain of what to expect as the media circus he helped create spirals out of control. John Sygar as Floyd’s brother provides stand-up vigorous voice as he fights with his parents to save his brother.

Accolades to the Jos. B Musumeci, Jr and his set design of a cave composed of large jigsaw puzzle pieces. Brian S. Allard’s lighting and Kenny Neal’s sound design provide key unmissable states of mind.

“Floyd Collins” from 1st Stage is theater with punch that will leave its mark well beyond Tysons.