There are not words in the English language that can adequately describe the way I feel about Gibson Fleck, an original musical written by U of M students in the department of Musical Theatre. The show made its debut last weekend in the Arthur Miller Theatre, which provided an intimate and appropriate space for the stellar show.
Gibson Fleck tells the story of a young man searching for a place to call home. Born without a family or a home, Gibson travels the country as a nomad. He prides himself in his ability to never stay in the same place for an extended period of time until he comes across a little construction site in New Haven, Connecticut. Here, Gibson finds a home he had never known before. After some time, Gibson discovers that his biological mother has past away and has left him with everything in her name. Gibson then travels to Vienna, Virginia in search for his mother’s home. While in Vienna, Gibson stays with his mother’s parents and eventually finds her diary. By reading this diary, he discovers the truth about his family and his home. Throughout this heart-wrenching story we see Gibson struggle with family, friends, love and his idea of home. We finally realize, along with Gibson, that home is not defined ‘family,’ but by people who love and care for you. We see Gibson make this realization and finally return to New Haven, the place he has come to call “home.”
Ali Gordon’s genius shines in this book, as the show features a cast of extremely well developed characters. This is one thing that impressed me so much about the show. I was so amazed that I could walk out of the show feeling like I knew the story behind each and every character. In addition to the fantastic book for Gibson Fleck, the score was equally incredible.
I am very excited to see what happens with this show. I will be very disappointed if it is not picked up. Even in its earliest stages, Gibson Fleck feels like a classic.