Cal Performances' director Matias Tarnopolsky warned the child-packed audience for Angel Heart on Sunday afternoon, to the tune of: we love all you guys to be here, we are grateful that you came; we understand that sometimes kids get, his words, "over-expressive," so feel free to wander in and out of the hall as you please. It turns out that the over-expressivity of the younger attendees wasn't as much a concern as the under-expressivity of the show.
Angel Heart is billed as a music storybook, and it pieces together some musical segments with short narrative in between, read by grumpy grandfather Malcom McDowell. It's generous to call it a story (credited, if you must, to Cornelia Funke), as an angel runs into a suicidal goth girl and cures her broken heart by commanding her to sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more. Rule number one of a family show is to have a child character actually do things. Kids want to feel they have some control over the world, and to draw them in, any fantasy will give them some power they can identify with. But the only people whose super power wish is sleep are overstressed senior executives and retirees in Arizona. Well, those who didn't get the 5am tee time.