BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
OFF BROADWAY REVIEW
A melancholy musical about two boyhood friends who grow apart as they get older, “The Fortress of Solitude” is driven by a dynamic score vibrantly composed in an assortment of pop styles by Michael Friedman.
Soul, hip-hop, classic rock, rhythm & blues and punk are among the genres that Friedman’s music and lyrics encompass in the new show at the Public Theater.
Drawn by writer Itamar Moses from Jonathan Lethem’s novel, the changing times and circumstances of the story, which progresses from the 1970s to the late 1990s, are illustrated by Friedman’s tasty score.
The central figure, Dylan (Adam Chanler-Berat), a white boy in a scruffy Brooklyn neighborhood that gets worse before it gets better with time, forges a friendship with Mingus (Kyle Betran), a black youth, based on their love for superhero comics. The lonely Dylan, whose father (Ken Barnett) is a preoccupied artist, soon is intrigued by Mingus’s dad Junior (Kevin Mambo), a gifted if now has-been soul singer.