Disclaimer: I received tickets to Hundred Days as an opportunity through the Tampa Bay Bloggers and the Straz Center for the purpose of this review. The opinions shared are my own.
Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a connection to them?
Call it love at first sight or a friend who simply filled your soul. You felt complete and whole when you met your person.
When I met my now husband, Allan, I knew instantly I was going to marry him. Twenty-four years ago, we stood in a bar on the most crowded evening in Ybor City – Guavaween night, Tampa’s version of a Halloween Mardi Gras and that night, it was as if the crowd melted away and time slowed down. The few seconds we spoke seemed like an entire day passed. When we parted our ways after that chance meeting, the world marched on at a normal rate.
Whenever I share the story of how Allan and I met, it always seems stranger than fiction. Most people cannot relate.
That was until I saw the performance of Hundred Days, a bizarre chance meeting between Abigail and Shaun Benson in New York twelve years ago.
At the opening of the performance, Abigail candidly shares that everyone she has ever loved either went mad or died and from that, Abigail shares a dream she had years before she encountered Shaun. When Abigail met Shaun, she knew they would spend the rest of their lives together. However, after Shaun finds himself in the hospital after a car accident, the rest of their lives morphs into only 100 days left.
SPOILER ALERT: The hundred days that Abigail believes to be left is a metaphor for their relationship. “Remember the salt,” in a soft foreshadowing voice she tells the audience at the start of the show. That salt reminds us that tragedy is about to unfold. Abigail sees the salt of tears as the pain she will inevitably feel be it real or a self-inflicted wound. She believes her life is destined for pain and heartache.
To avoid the inescapable pain she believes to come, Abigail and Shaun set out to live the next 100 days like it’s their last on Earth. That is the premise behind this 75-minute production.
They fall in love and get hitched after three weeks.
They live like life will end in a hundred days.
Imagine the fictional characters Grace Adler (Will and Grace) and Maureen Johnson (RENT) decided to produce a musical with Glen Hansard, the musical genius behind Once. Grace Adler’s quirky, humor, Maureen Johnson’s Off-Broadway poetic imagery combined with the folk-punk sound, soft-spoken Glen Hansard. That would be Hundred Days.
Each song in Hundred Days builds into this incredible crescendo, like a tsunami splendidly reflecting Abigail and Shaun’s whirlwind love affair and the fear and pain of that losing love. The powerful vocals and outstanding arrangements will give you goosebumps and the intimacy of the Jaeb Theater is the perfect setting to feel the chemistry that make Hundred Days unique.
The countdown to Hundred Days ends this weekend. This is your chance to live like a Hundred Days are fleeting. Seize the opportunity before it slips away!