Too bad the production's choreographic obliviousness (no one owns up in the playbill) results in the cast adopting postures more suitable to a pop concert. But the whole relationship of music to drama is out of whack. The numbers tend to emerge with a silly preface. Before one of Atlanta's letters is harmonized, Hamlet asks Cleo, in the manner of a variety show host, "Why don't you read it aloud for us, Cleo?" And for Puck's grand finale, we get, "I'm gonna sing one song, and then I'm leaving."
This isn't dramaturgy -- it's telegraphy. Nonetheless, the show is undeniably ambitious thematically. "Atlanta" is first and foremost about divisions -- between North and South, blacks and whites, and men and women, as well as the cracks and contradictions within individual souls.