Wedding Bell Blues

Marriage, at least as it is presented in Soul Searching, a new rock opera running in workshop at Theater for a New City, is a mixed bag. In "Married," one of the opening numbers, Brenda, the show's single protagonist, asks her friends, "What's it like to be married?" The responses? "All my dreams have come true / I wouldn't wish it on you." It's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but in Soul Searching it is what being married is all about. Marriage isn't necessarily happy, but happiness lies in marriage. Soul Searching, running through Oct. 2, tells the story of Brenda, a contemporary Jewish woman in New York searching for a man of faith and substance. She's looking for someone, she sings, "charming and sweet and spiritually deep." As the program notes put it, "Although she wants to share her life with someone, she also wants to share her life with an accepting community of people."

Brenda's trials unfold Friends-style as she and her girlfriends sit and gab over coffee. Her married friends Rachel, Becky, and Sara want her to find someone, and set her up with three versions of their husbands

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