Dot -- which was first presented at the 2015 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, with Johnson in the title role -- is not yet quite in a finished state. The first act could use a little tightening, and there is a deceptive ending midway through the second which interrupts the momentum.
What struck me about these two musicals was how well, despite any perceived weaknesses, each show resonated with its audience. That's such an elusive quality for a new show to display and yet it was undeniable in performance.
You could also, dangerously but not inaccurately, describe The Landing as 'the new John Kander musical.' While 'a musical' leads us to expect things that aren't quite present, labeling it a new Kander musical is far more problematic.
For decades now, Pee-wee Herman has provided the best sort of entertainment for kids; Middletown toys with language but adds an emotional element here that gives an audience something more to latch onto than mere cleverness.