What if the person you loved had only 100 days to live? How would you spend them together? These are the questions addressed in music and conversation by husband and wife Abigail and Shaun Bengson in Hundred Days at La Jolla Playhouse. An enterprising work written by the Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, Hundred Days flees the bounds of conventional theater or concert. In just 75 minutes it incorporates music (rooted in multiple idioms), narrative and movement in frequently daring fashion.
Still, it can be self-indulgent to the point of discomfort, as during Abigail’s aching, wailing “Three-Legged Dog” number; and when addressing the literally eternal question of what does death mean, Hundred Days traffics in awfully worn territory. There’s no discounting the superior musicianship, which sounds crisp and urgent in the Playhouse’s Mandell Weiss Forum.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 10/10/18).
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.