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‘Fallen Angel’ Lands Off-Broadway

April 15, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ ″Fallen Angel,″ a rock ‘n’ roll musical, exists more to present some solid rock songs - with singing by the charismatic Corey Glover of the band Living Colour - than it does for its story.

There is interest in the story, though, since it’s written by Billy Boesky, son of Ivan Boesky, and has a young hero whose father, once ″a big deal lawyer,″ went to prison.

″Fallen Angel″ opened Thursday night at the off-Broadway Circle in the Square.

The three leads inhabit the world they portray.

Jonathan Goldstein, who looks like Paul McCartney, plays the likeable Will, guitarist and songwriter for the seven-piece rock band Fallen Angel. In reality he is the singer-songwriter of the band Garage Ensemble.

Shannon Conley plays Gretta, Will’s girlfriend and band guitarist. Conley also actually fronts a rock band, Psychedelic Cowgirl. Glover plays Fallen Angel’s singer, Luke.

Will itches and talks to his dermatologist about his father, who had no time for him even before he went to jail. The determinedly unhelpful dermatologist, heard but not seen, thinks his itch is psychosomatic.

The first songs in the show are rock ‘n’ roll. Later, Gretta has an effective escapist-fantasy country-rock solo called ″Southbound Train.″ One song is instructive in the way the same song can be performed by the same people country style or soulful rhythm ‘n’ blues. Will has a pensive solo, ″Unveil My Eyes.″

Gretta tells Will that his father’s in jail so he wants a man from a record company to reach down from above and change things. ″I want you to let the band go,″ she says. When he doesn’t, she leaves him.

Luke leaves, too, signing with Birth Records as a solo vocalist after a brief, telling scene of hearty fake humility and glib doubletalk from two recording executives. Luke has a fine song, ″Fallen Angel,″ which he sings in a star’s spotlight in England and dedicates to Will. Boesky wrote music and lyrics of three of the show’s songs and collaborated on writing seven.

Luke visits his father in prison for the first time in three years, hoping for approval that he has taken a job in business. His father’s a bit disappointed that he has given up music and lost Gretta.

Luke still itches, misses Gretta, lacks a band and paternal approval, but the final song is ″All Right.″ It contains the line ″I’m still me,″ which convinces a listener that’s enough for optimism.

Boesky has written five plays, two screenplays, three rock ‘n’ roll plays and a rap opera. He writes and performs with the band Marianna Trench.

Rob Greenberg directed. Rodger Hess and Peter Holmes a Court produced in association with Back Row Productions, which owns Birth Records.

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