Stephen Flaherty and Lyn Ahrens' musicals seem to having a rough ride as of late with the Broadway closure of 'Rocky' recently announced, but any fan of their work would be pleased to know that they are being perfectly represented at the intimate Trafalgar Studios 2, where Andrew Keates' production of their 2005 musical Dessa Rose packs enough of a punch to knock out Balboa in one round.
This story, set in 1846 in the ante-bellum South, follows two young women on their journey to acceptance. With elements of blues, folk, hymns and gospel, Dessa Rose blends history and fiction. Passionate and innocent Dessa Rose is a young slave faced with a barrage of hardships because of the colour of her skin. While Ruth, a young white mother, faces difficulties because of her gender. Ruth and Dessa ‘hand down the story’ to their grandchildren, reliving the adventure they experienced together. Through their extraordinary tale we see their deep and lasting bond and how this makes them part of a long, strong line of women.