All That He Was plucks the heartstrings

A musical about the darkest days of AIDS shows its student-effort roots, but provides a stirring score.

A little more than two decades ago, composer Cindy O’Connor and lyricist-book writer Larry Todd Cousineau teamed up while still graduate students to write this chamber musical. It won a National Playwright’s Award and had a successful Los Angeles run, but even in its updated form, premiering at Pride Films & Plays, it’s unmistakably a student effort—which gives it both a naive charm and an unsatisfying superficiality.…

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