Benjamin Scheuer’s life could’ve been made into a TV movie. Without giving too much away, the 32-year old singer/songwriter has suffered through illness, a family member’s death, and a love affair that dies as well.
But in the autobiographical show The Lion, Scheuer uses his talents to make us laugh, as well as weep, and doesn’t go for the melodramatic. The 70 minute tale is honest, charming and ultimately uplifting as Scheuer comes to peace with the hands he’s been dealt.
The set, at The Manhattan Theatre Club’s Studio at Stage II, is simple and reinforces the intimacy of the message. Scheuer performs moving between one of three chairs and playing one of seven guitars. We hear him grow from a 13-year old boy to the man he is today. We learn about his parents, his brothers and the girl Julia that he meets in quintessential New York-fashion on a Metro North train. We chuckle in appreciation as he plays an electric guitar to become an angry “rock star” and sit in quiet appreciation as he strums a folk song that he once performed at CBGB.
Upon leaving the theater I immediately wanted to learn more about Scheuer and hear more of his music. For all the chords he plays during the show, he never struck a false note. AFW
The Lion – through July 13
Manhattan Theater Club – http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/thelion/