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Review: 5th Avenue’s ‘Afterwords’ relentlessly plucks at the same underdeveloped note

Theater review

Loss is a common denominator in “Afterwords,” a new musical by Zoe Sarnak and Emily Kaczmarek onstage at the 5th Avenue Theatre in a world premiere production. Jo (Anastacia McCleskey) is a war reporter reeling professionally and personally from the death of her colleague and mentor in Iraq. In seeking to honor his legacy, she’s taken on a tough new assignment at the paper they worked at.

Kali (Andi Alhadeff) and Simone (Kerstin Anderson) are sisters whose mother died in a car accident a few months prior. While art school-dropout Simone is determined to move on — she’s ready to purge the house the three shared and glibly announces she doesn’t want to be known as the “dead mom girl” — Kali’s trauma sits closer to the surface. A singer-songwriter,…

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