there’s a certain excitement when seeing a new musical, an element of “can they pull this off”? gracie and the atom is a musical about a girl sent to catholic school after her father’s death. the problem, gracie is a science loving atheist and wants to find her missing mother. written and produced here in portland at artist repertory theater and staged with the subtle dose of camp. gracie was wholly entertaining, picture but i’m a cheerleader mixed with spring awakening. the storyline is good, just deep enough for a musical and with a couple of twists you don’t see. the dialogue could use a little work, lines are often predictable and too simple for the topics being handled. the songs are good, following the trend of the emo/pop rock soundtrack. i’ve come around to the style, emo anthems do work well in musical theater. the cast was well picked, had excellent chemistry and some really good voices. the weakest aspect of the production was the choreography, it needed cleaning up. i have high hopes for gracie and the atom, it deserves re-stagings and evolution.