The Old Globe Presents de American Premiere of "Ride"

A Musical Production with Amazing Design Assets 

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti 

Livvy Marcus as Martha and Alex Finke as Annie in Ride, 2024. Photo by Jim Cox.

Ride at The Old Globe presents an American premiere with a creative team led by Freya Catrin Smith and Jack Williams for the book, music, and lyrics, under the insightful direction of Sarah Meadows. The British version debuted in 2020 at London’s Vault Festival. Based on Annie Londonderry who went around the world on a bicycle and on her way back to the United States, she goes to a newspaper to interview for the columnist position to share the tales of her journey. As Annie is waiting for her interview, she meets Martha, a secretary at the paper recruiting her on the spot to help tell the story with a compelling narrative that explores themes of friendship, growth, and self-discovery.

The musical is just the two actresses who complement each other greatly. Alex Finke as Annie and Livvy Marcus as Martha deliver phenomenal performances that anchor the production with depth, emotion, and some daring bicycle tricks. Finke has a fantastic voice and great spunk while Marcus is captivating as Martha also with a wonderful voice that harmonizes beautifully with Alex.

Livvy Marcus as Martha and Alex Finke as Annie in Ride, 2024. Photo by Jim Cox.
Choreographer Jennifer Jancuska's work through Natasha Harrison's original choreography enhances the storytelling, while Amy Jane Cook's scenic and costume design steals the spotlight with its ingenuity and special effects. The sets are truly spectacular and dynamic. Sometimes the show looks more like Londonderry is a magician than a cyclist/storyteller, but it is part of the piece's charm. Jamie Platt's lighting design sets the mood effectively, complemented by Andrew Johnson's sound design that immerses the audience into the world of the musical. Matt Powell's video design and John Bulleid's illusion design, definitely elevate the production value.

Having a live musical experience in a show is special as we see fewer and fewer musicians playing and more recorded music due to production costs. With Ride, Macy Schmidt's orchestrations, alongside Sam Young's music supervision and additional arrangements, make a standout feature of the show. Daniel Green's work as music director ensures an enchanting musical journey for the audience with talented musicians like Justin Gray, Vince Cooper, Tim McMahon, and Healy Henderson.

The 90-minute musical has innovative design elements and great interpretations with a captivating score. The weaving of the story at one point could be clearer but the dynamic set and tricks level it up. Still, the show and knowing about this story is worth it.

Check it out for yourself. There is an Open-Caption Performance on Saturday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m. and a Post Show Forum on  Wednesday, April 24  for the evening performance. For more information please click here.

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