actor. singer. determined mover.
The vocally gifted Paul Scanlan brings a persuasive desperation and restlessness to the misfit Moritz.
Or consider Paul Scanlan as Moritz Stiefel, a relentlessly ordinary young man hounded by his ambitious father... to excel in a prestigious school. It is obviously beyond Moritz’s capabilities, and his anxieties have turned him into a twitchy mess, who is doubly bedeviled by wet dreams. Scanlan embodies this miserable fellow perfectly, from his bird’s- nest hairstyle... to his sudden, haunted movements.
The breakout talent in this show is Scanlan, reminiscent of John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten, founder of The Sex Pistols) in both appearance and performance. He is the class misfit, bullied by his teachers at school and by his father at home. Scanlan’s stage presence and vocals are phenomenal and he reflects Moritz’s agony over his seeming inability to do anything right coupled with his teachers’ vicious antagonism and reprisal towards him with the intensity that is the salvation of this story.
Paul Scanlan, who is outstanding as the angsty Moritz, rips across the stage in his solo song, “Don’t Do Sadness.
It is Scanlan’s performance as Moritz that makes this musical truly great, as the young vocal powerhouse sings every song as if it was his last and creates a character that is hauntingly deranged as he struggles to deal with life and all of its many troubles.