ITHACA NY - Music’s Recreation will be presenting two performances of
“My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett Kahn
Performances are 2pm and 4pm April 7 at CSMA on the Third Floor
ITHACA NY - Music’s Recreation will be presenting two performances of
“My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett Kahn
Performances are 2pm and 4pm April 7 at CSMA on the Third Floor
The Kitchen Theatre opens a play this week called Last Train to Nibroc, by Arlene Hutton. In addition to being a beautiful, romantic play performed by two stellar actors, it’s a wonderful chance to hear some great old style music by local musicians.
The main musical theme, entitled “Home”, was composed by Ithaca College student Rob Dietz in the style of an early bluegrass waltz. Dietz is the conductor of Ithacappella, IC’s award-winning male a cappella group. Joining Dietz at Rep Studio to record the music for Last Train to Nibroc was Harry Nichols, guitar, Stephanie Jenkins, banjo & vocals, and Rosie Newton, fiddle & vocals. Harry is a member of Ithacappella and plays with Rob in a folk/blues duo called Passing Through (http://www.myspace.com/musicpassingthrough). Stephanie and Rosie play together locally as The Pearly Snaps (http://www.myspace.com/thepearlysnaps). Both duos are great–so musical and tight. Bringing them together was a blast. They created a gorgeous sound pretty much instantly.
The current show at the Kitchen Theatre is called ARCHAEOLOGY. It is a world premiere by playwright Rachel Axler. Axler’s day job is writing for tv - she was until recently the only woman writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is now writing for a new NBC sitcom, Parks & Recreation, featuring Amy Poehler. But she started out in theater and is interested in that medium as well.
ARCHAEOLOGY features the youngest cast we’ve had at the Kitchen in a while. Two actors are in their early twenties, and the other two are Ithaca College theater students. It’s a funny, weird & wacky story that involves time travel and mathematics but is at the heart a story about 20-somethings finding themselves.
There’s not a whole lot of music in the show, though Ithaca College student Ben Truppin-Brown has made a cool soundscape for the play. There was, however, a music video made! Two of the characters in the play have a garage band, and they mention lyrics to one of their songs. It just so happens that Jake Paque, an actor in the play, is also a musician, and he took it upon himself to write the song! It’s a really infectious, fun tune, and it only seemed right that it should have a music video to go with it. So we assembled the cast on the set, brought in a mannequin that features prominently in the play, and filmed a video. It has pretty much nothing to do with the play, but it was a lot of fun to do and it does gives a sense of the young actors and zany world of the play. You can take a look at it http://kitchentheatre.org/IWannaExplore.html and read more about the play at http://kitchentheatre.org/Archaeology.html.
The Candor Community Chorus is presenting the bluegrass-gospel musical “Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming” next weekend. Showtimes are March 27 and 28 at 8 pm with a matinee on Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm at the Candor Congregational Church, Main Street, Candor.
In addition to the chorus members, a number of folks have volunteered for the band, including folks you all probably know: Debra Chesman and Ted Sobel play washtub bass, Mike Greenberg’s on the dobro and Dean Gobel just fiddles around.
“Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming” is a musical comedy suitable for the whole family. WWII is over and America’s years of prosperity are just beginning. But there’s another kind of rite of passage at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, where the Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe is giving his last service. Having been called to preach in Texas, he’s already bought a 10-gallon hat and is preparing to ride into the sunset with his wife June, who is eight months pregnant.
Join the Sanders Family as they send Mervin and June off in style, with hilarious and touching stories and 25 toe-tapping Bluegrass Gospel favorites.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students & will be available at the door. OR you can reserve a ticket and pay for it when you arrive. To reserve tickets: call Hope VanScoy at 607-659-5213 or Sue Heavenrich at 607-659-3022 OR e-mail Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org
The current play at the Kitchen Theatre is a world premiere. Portland, Oregon playwright Francesca Sanders’ play I BECOME A GUITAR is rich and poetic, and it really calls for an elaborate soundscore. In fact, sound designer Don Tindall said that the play reads like it was written by a sound designer–the language and the way that events unfold evoke music and sound in a way that few plays do. Don and composer Ron Kristy and have given it a beautiful, lush score. I talked with Ron about the music in this play.
LESLEY: Tell a bit about yourself—what brought you to Ithaca? What do you write and play?
RON: I make my living composing music for TV, films and video. The invention of the Internet is basically what allowed me to move to Ithaca - I have clients across the country and we send music and video files back and forth over the web. About 5 years ago while living in Nashville, I met Terry Burns, the youngest of the Burns Sisters, at a party. Within the year we got married here in Ithaca. After our son Noah Skye was born 3 ½ years ago, a very wise friend of ours encouraged us to let Noah’s well-being guide us in making major life decisions. We spent the following two summers here to see if we could be happy and still make a living, and I fell in love with Ithaca. We knew in our hearts that this would be a wonderful place to raise Noah. This is a deeply spiritual, creative and progressive town, and the perfect place to freeze in winter. There is such a beautiful community here, and Noah has had a wonderful childhood so far. I’m having a pretty good childhood myself… when not hanging out with Terry and Noah, I compose a lot of music aired on Access Hollywood, the NFL network, PBS - “Soul of the Senate - the Robert Byrd story”, the Discovery Channel - “Angel Stories” & “Miracle Stories,” lots more.
My wife Terry is a wonderful singer/songwriter, and we have begun performing together at coffee houses and spiritual venues, time and Noah permitting. The songs I write from my heart have titles such as “looking deeply” and “caravan of love,” which don’t really play well on the NFL network… I visited and taught music on death row at Riverbend maximum prison in Nashville for 6 years, played at peace rallies, spiritual centers and things like talent shows in prison with Bo Lozoff. Not exactly the kind of places to sell a million CDs… but talk about a captive audience! I have written a lot of little songs to Noah, and I (sort of) proposed to Terry by sending her an mp3 of a song I wrote for her. It worked… now I’m very happy and very tired. I’m currently working on 20 TV promos for Universal/Paramount publishing.
LESLEY: This is your first time writing for theater - how is that different from writing for film?
RON: The inherent dilemma of writing music for theater, as opposed to film, is that the pesky actors don’t do everything exactly the same way every performance, which is also what makes it such a magical, organic thing. Writing for film, you watch a cue over and over and find your “hit points,” where you want the music to change mood, etc.
Everything is fluid in a play, which is something that Sara Lampert Hoover, the director, helped me learn by letting me know that most of what I was originally writing sounded great but was not going to work! The music had to be easily manipulated and looped so that it could work within the variances of the performances. Honestly, I still don’t exactly know how it works. I think it’s magic or something. Sara really helped me to strip the music to its most simple form, to be easily recreated later in the process for various cues. She knew exactly what she liked when she heard it. She also knew what she didn’t like! It was honest, demanding, and fun working with her. Sound designer Don Tindall is like, dude, where did you come from? Don knows so much about sound and music for theater that it wouldn’t surprise me if he were kidnapped and interrogated by agents from a foreign country that doesn’t have the theater technology that we have. His cue sheets look like something you could guide the Mars Landing probe with. Without Sara and Don I wouldn’t have had a clue about the process. One more thing about the team - a major part of the beauty and emotion of the music comes from the quiet yet awesome talent of Nate Silas Richardson (of Rep Studio) as a guitar player and sound engineer extraordinaire. No kidding.
LESLEY: We learned at an early read-through of the play with designers in attendance that you actually have lived in Zihuatanejo, the tiny fishing village where the character Madrigal was born and raised. Did your history in that village affect the music you wrote for the play?
RON: I actually lived in Mexico for about 9 years in the mid 70s and 80s, and lived for a year in a tiny fishing village named “Pie de la Cuesta” (foot of the coast), between Acapulco and Zihuatanejo. I lived in a palm tree hut, got bitten by scorpions & fire ants, chased by wild boars, rams, mad cows, and federales. It was a totally magical time of possibilities in my life. My neighbors were mostly peasant fisherman with a few sorcerers thrown in - it’s a long way from Bellmore, Long Island… Mexico is a big part of my heart and soul - I absolutely love the country and the people. They are incredibly funny, loving, giving and hard working people. And they love to party! I wrote a lot of music down there for Mexican artists and telenovelas, so writing the music was like visiting an old friend. And what beautiful synchronicity brought me to Ithaca to work on the play! ¡Que buena onda!
LESLEY: Tell about the process of writing music for this play.
RON: The process of writing music for theater is for me, the same process as writing music for film - there’s a lot of kicking and screaming, praying for inspiration and just plain hard work on the way to the final score. There’s probably an easier way, but I don’t know it.
LESLEY: Anything else you’d like to add?
RON: I can talk till the cows come home, but it seems I’ve run out of time…
Peace out, rk
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLAY, see http://www.kitchentheatre.org/Guitar.html
My first pick for my new blog “Local CDs That Shouldn’t Be Missed” is Pamela Goddard’s 2005 release “As Time Draws Near.” Pamela Goddard is that rare bird, the singer’s singer. With her mesmerizing mezzo-contralto, Goddard’s voice evokes a time long past, and “As Time Draws Near” is a gem you should listen to today. Goddard hails from a music-loving family, and her selection of songs shows her reverence for and keen knowledge of traditional songs. The songs of “As Time Draws Near” are English and Celtic in origin, and many were collected by archivists and song collectors in rural areas of the eastern United States in twentieth century field recordings. To hear Goddard sing these songs and bring them to life is a transporting experience.
Not too many singers can sing confidently without accompaniment, but Goddard’s voice is a distinctive and lyrical instrument, just fine on its own. In this ProTools age it is refreshing to hear the simple, organic loveliness of a human voice without the distractions of compression and auto-tuning. Throughout the CD, Goddard’s voice remains the focal instrument, with tasteful and well-placed harmonies by Glenda and Jim Blake, and musical stylings of guitarist Gail Blake and fiddler Jennifer Dotson. “As Time Draws Near” can be purchased on Goddard’s website at www.pamgoddard.com and, of course, at Ludgate Farms.
Lisa Ann Wright
Three Girls and their Buddy - Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller
You read that correctly… the show of the year is here! Just confirmed yesterday, the second annual ”Three Girls and their Buddy” tour will grace our fair city this February 9th at the State Theatre. This is an astounding lineup of performers and we at Dan Smalls Presents couldn’t be happier that we have been selected as a presenter for a date on this year’s tour. Tickets will go on sale Friday, November 21st at 10AM at the State Theatre Box Office, 105 West State Street in Ithaca, NY, online at stateofithaca.com, or by calling 800.919.6272. There are three price levels: Gold Circle -$68.00 plus theatre restoration surcharge, $51.00 plus theatre restoration surcharge and $41.00 plus theatre restoration surcharge. Fanclub tickets go an sale here a week earlier… sign up now! For more information visit: dansmallspresents.com.
In the only upstate New York play (No Rochester, No Buffalo, No Syracuse, No Albany, No Binghamton, etc.), Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller will arrive in Ithaca for one-night of intimate music and storytelling akin to last year’s wall-to-wall sellout with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt. During last year’s innaugural run of the “Three Girls and their Buddy” Tour, the songwriters all shared the stage together and traded songs for several hours. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see four of the greatest songwriters of our time share the stage together.
Each of these artists could fill the theatre on their own, but in the spirit of musical sharing and the fun they have together, they have chosen to play smaller theatres and present an extremely intimate offering. In case you are unfamiliar… here’s some information about each of them:
Twelve-time Grammy award winner Emmylou Harris has been hailed as a major figure in several of America’s most important musical movements of the past three decades. Harris’ contributions to country-rock, the bluegrass revival, folk music, and the Americana movement are widely lauded, and in recent years she also has carved out a sound that is uniquely her own. A steadfast supporter of roots music and a skilled interpreter of compelling songs, she also has been associated with a diverse array of admiring collaborators. Her 1995 Wrecking Ball was a watershed album for her, combining several world-music elements with acoustic instruments, driving percussion, and a folk/roots flavor. The new style would evolve on a number of Harris’ subsequent releases, including 1998’s Spyboy, 1999’s Western Wall (a collaboration with Linda Ronstadt), and 2000’s Red Dirt Girl, which was praised as a showcase for Emmylou Harris’s songwriting talent.
Shawn Colvin is one of the bright spots of the so-called “new folk movement” that began in the late ’80s. And though she grew out of the somewhat limited “woman with a guitar” school, she has managed to keep the form fresh with a diverse approach, avoiding the clichéd sentiments and all-too-often formulaic arrangements that have plagued the genre. In less than a decade of recording, Colvin has emerged as a songcraftsman with plenty of pop smarts, which has earned her a broad and loyal following. In an era when female singer-songwriters have been ever-more ubiquitous, Shawn Colvin stands out as a singular and enduring talent. The three-time Grammy winner has released eight albums to date, including the platinum A Few Small Repairs which featured the hit song “Sunny Came Home.”
Patty Griffin’s new album Children Running Through (ATO) continues the remarkable creative evolution that’s quietly established Griffin as a vital and singular musical force. It also belies her persistent sensitive-singer-songwriter image—a limiting perception that fails to fully convey the emotional depth and breadth of her songwriting or the emotive power of her fluid, soulful singing. Folk and rock singer Patty Griffin burst onto the national music scene in 1996 with her stark, emotional acoustic CDLiving with Ghosts. The album introduced a singer-songwriter of uncommon power. John Scheinman writing in the Fairfax Journal said, “Here’s this woman from Old Town, Maine … making the kind of record only Bob Dylan gets to make anymore…. [But] Griffin doesn’t need a band to fill the spaces because the songs come out of her gut with a conviction that’s more than enough.”
Behind the music is a modest man of extraordinarily broad skills. Emmylou Harris, in whose band Buddy served for 8 years, calls the 51-year old Ohio-born Nashville transplant “one of the best guitar players of all time.” Steve Earle, another former bandmate, pronounces him “the best country singer working today.” Records by artists ranging from Lucinda Williams to Trisha Yearwood have benefited from Buddy’s vocal and instrumental prowess. As for the taut, elegiac songs he composes, they could be mistaken for disinterred relics, resonant of a lost age when white and black music were casually consanguineous – could be, only cover versions by hitmakers like Lee Ann Womack, Brooks & Dunn, and the Dixie Chicks have proved their contemporary power, affirming Buddy as one of Music City’s most valuable writers. Then there is his superiority as a producer and engineer (Harris, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jim Lauderdale). And he has a nice sideline mastering records. He just finished touring with Allison Krauss and Robert Plant.
It’s hard to believe its been almost 12 years since Canada’s Cowboy Junkies last visited Ithaca. Well the long wait is over as they return for one night only on Thursday, February 5th at the State Theatre. See also: dansmallspresents.com
Reserved seating tickets will be $28.00 plus theatre restoration fee. A limited number of gold circle seating will be available for $35.00 plus restoration. Tickets will go on sale Friday, November 7th at 10am at the State Theatre Box Office, 105 West State Street in Ithaca, online at stateofithaca.com or by calling 800.919.6272.
The Toronto quartet have made a career out of its soft-focus sound, initially emphasizing the drowsily pretty vocals of Margo Timmins, with brother Michael Timmins’ droning guitar leads gradually assuming a bigger role. They’ve maximized that rather limited approach by evincing exquisite taste, particularly on the covers-heavy early albums, and by playing off the tension between Margo’s lullaby voice and the frequently dire imagery of Michael’s lyrics. Their breakthrough came with “The Trinity Sessions,” recorded through only one microphone at the Trinity Church in Toronto. That was 20 years ago…
“To celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Trinity Session, we decided to head back to Toronto’s Trinity Church with the idea of revisiting the album from the perspective of twenty years’ experience,” reflects Cowboy Junkies guitarist and songwriter Michael Timmins. “We enlisted a few musicians for whom The Trinity Session had some personal and professional resonance, and whose individual work resonates with us.” Joined by Ryan Adams, Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant, and longtime cohort Jeff Bird, Cowboy Junkies dedicated themselves to a fresh exploration of The Trinity Session’s songs - as spontaneous and open-ended as the original. “The idea was to cobble together a loose band sound with just a few hours of rehearsal, and a one day recording schedule,” Timmins continues, “much in the same way we created the original recording. We came, we played, and the church, once again, did the rest.”
In November of 1987, the young and road-worn Cowboy Junkies gathered there and, around one microphone in the course of a few quiet hours, recorded the epochal set of songs that were released one year later as The Trinity Session. The album not only put the nascent Junkies - composed then and now of siblings Michael, Margo, and Peter Timmins and bassist Alan Anton - on the musical map: it also ushered in a new approach to roots music. Imbued with a bewitching and ominous radiance, The Trinity Session was modest in its means, unpretentious and honest. Drawing from the elemental yearning that underpinned the band’s heroes (from Hank Williams to the Velvet Underground to Robert Johnson), the Junkies fashioned a direct, unmannered sound they then wrapped around Michael’s poetic originals and an insightful selection of outside material. The album has long been heralded as a touchstone for both the Junkies and for a new generation of musicians in the burgeoning alt-country and Americana genres.
Read the full bio here
Denied a record deal for years because she didn’t have the right look (”too heavy, too dark, too short”), Sharon Jones worked as a Riker’s Island prison guard, an armored truck guard for Wells Fargo, and countless other day jobs. Now at 52 years old, Jones is being heralded as the new “Queen of Soul.” Taking a cue from her idol, James Brown, with whom she shares a hometown, Jones is unabashedly funky, old-school, and full of soul. Jones lives in the projects in Queens with her mother when she’s not on the road with her band, The Dap-Kings. The Dap-Kings are best known for recording as the backing band on Amy Winehouse’s hit record “Back to Black.” Though that’s about all that Jones and the troubled diva have in common, Jones told the Houston Chronicle, “if it hadn’t been for Amy, you wouldn’t be interviewing me. But I don’t take no backseat to no one. Amy said I inspired her. That’s a good thing.”
So let her inspire you! Join us at the State Theatre on Saturday, November 1 for a night of vintage soul and retro funk. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are on the verge of mega-stardom, wouldn’t you like to say that you saw her back when?
BEST SHOWMANSHIP — Sharon Jones, at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits “The first time I saw the funky soul phenomenon was at Coachella in May, where I wrote that her show ”ranks among the best I’ve seen in my life. Actually, I could almost be convinced that her set is that good, every single time.” By ACL in September, I needed no further convincing. When she kicks off her heels to dance through her ancestry, it’s school, church, and sex all rolled into one.” — EW.COM
PS - Sharon will be signing records at Volume on the commons at 5PM! Come meet her before she rocks you!
Kitchen Theatre To Present Musical Encore Production — Lampert & Pressgrove’s TONY & THE SOPRANO returns for the holidays
The Kitchen Theatre Company is pleased to present an encore presentation of Rachel Lampert & Larry Pressgrove’s original musical TONY & THE SOPRANO, just in time for the holiday season. This hit musical comedy from our 2005-06 Season will return to the Kitchen on November 20 and run through December 14 . TONY & THE SOPRANO is a musical valentine to opera, Italian food, and mothers that’s sure to please audiences of all ages.
The story takes place in the closely-knit neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Thirty-five year old Tony fixes cars and still lives with his mother, Rose. His life seems to be one dead end after another, and he’s not the only one who is feeling stuck. His best friend Vinny is opening the restaurant of his dreams, but his new waitress Isabel keeps breaking plates, and a local mobster is breathing down his neck for his payback. Latchkey kid Carol is adrift. But when Rose’s attic apartment is rented to Julliard music student Frances, everyone’s life begins to change. Opera wafting down from the top floor starts everyone singing their own lyrics to the classic melodies of Verdi, Mozart, Rossini and more. This delightful musical tale of changing lives and finding love attests that music is the food of love.
“I love when music and laughter fill the Kitchen Theatre, and comedy rules in this play,” says Rachel Lampert, Artistic Director of the Kitchen and book and lyric writer for TONY & THE SOPRANO. “It’s been great fun to revisit the script and the score and add a few new things. And to get this great cast back together is a joy!”
The original production featured a cast of local favorites, and nearly all of them will be back. Erica Steinhagen plays Frances with winning Midwestern charm and a beautiful soprano voice. Her real-life husband Joey Steinhagen plays the good-natured but going nowhere Tony. Susannah Berryman, fresh from her role as Winnie in Beckett’s HAPPY DAYS at the Kitchen, plays Tony’s worried Italian mother Rose. Jessica Flood returns from her new home in Iowa to play the part of Isabel, a bad waitress with a mysterious secret. Jesse Bush is Tony’s pal Vinny, and Robert DeLuca is the neighborhood heavy, Carmine. They are joined by Kitchen newcomer Charlotte Senders, a 7th grader at Trumansburg Middle School, who is playing the part of Carol, and Sophie Potter, a 9th grader at Ithaca High School, who is the standby understudy for that role.
Rachel Lampert, also the Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre, is the author of PRECIOUS NONSENSE, an original musical featuring songs by Gilbert & Sullivan. She has also written musicals for family audiences and several non-musical plays and adaptations. Larry Pressgrove has served as music director of numerous Broadway tours and shows, including, most recently, title of show, for which he was also the arranger and performance pianist. TONY & THE SOPRANO was the first collaboration between Lampert and Pressgrove. Since then, the pair has written three other musicals: THE ANGLE OF THE SUN, COMFORT FOOD, and BED NO BREAKFAST, all of which premiered at the Kitchen. THE ANGLE OF THE SUN was chosen to be part of the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it was performed with original cast member Jesse Bush and Broadway actress Amanda Watkins.
Music Director Richard Montgomery (BED NO BREAKFAST, COMFORT FOOD, PRECIOUS NONSENSE, THE ANGLE OF THE SUN) will be at the piano every night. Set design is by Dan Meeker (THE ANGLE OF THE SUN, TWO ROOMS), lighting design by E.D. Intemann (A MARRIAGE MINUET, THE TWO OF YOU) and costume design is by Jon Donk. Preeti Nath is the stage manager.
TONY & THE SOPRANO will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the family-friendly time of 7:30pm with matinees on Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 4pm. The play is appropriate for everyone age 8 and above. TICKETS: $21-$36; CALL 607. 273-4497; VISIT Ticket Center, Historic Clinton House, 116 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY; or CLICK www.kitchentheatre.org and buy online! SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscription order forms available at KTC Administrative office, 116 N. Cayuga St, Ithaca, by calling 607. 272-0403, or at www.kitchentheatre.org. Subscribers enjoy ticket exchange privileges and premiere seating before single tickets go on sale to the public on August 1. For Group Rates, please call Marta at (607) 227-8063. For more information on the Kitchen Theatre Company, visit www.kitchentheatre.org
Bold, intimate, engaging…Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC), now in its 18th season, is downtown Ithaca’s critically acclaimed and nationally recognized year-round professional theatre with four performance series (Main Stage, Family Fare, Kitchen Counter Culture, Kitchen Sink). KTC is the first not-for-profit recipient of the David R. Strong Memorial Small Business of the Year Award from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce. KTC provides an engaging mix of regional and world premiere plays and musicals to Central NY in an intimate 73-seat theatre that encourages a bold relationship between audience and actor. The theatre is located in the historic Clinton House, a renovated hotel in Downtown Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in central New York. Kitchen Theatre Company receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the Tompkins County Room Occupancy Tax Fund. The Kitchen Theatre Company also receives support from the Shubert Foundation.
TONY & THE SOPRANO is sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company and Gateway Commons.
MORE DETAILS on the FORUM: SHOW TIMES http://canaaninstitute.org/mikesmusic/viewtopic.php?p=2135#2135
Music is integral to many productions at the Kitchen Theatre, from musical theater pieces to plays with original scores by local composers. This season has two musicals in store–Tony & the Soprano and Gutenberg! the Musical! Another play, I Become A Guitar, in which one of the central images is the making and tuning of a beautiful Spanish guitar, is likely to have an original score. More on that one when I know the details for sure, but here’s a little about the first of the two musicals:
Tony & the Soprano was written by Rachel Lampert (book & lyrics) and Larrry Pressgrove (music). Lampert is the Artistic Director of the Kitchen, where she has written numerous plays and musicals for
adult and family audiences. Pressgrove lives in NYC but has collaborated with Rachel on three other musicals at the Kitchen: Comfort Food, The Angle of the Sun (which made it to the New York Musical Theatre Festival last year), and last season’s popular Bed No Breakfast. Currently he is performing on Broadway as the pianist and music director for [title of show], a quirky, funny musical about making a musical.
Tony & the Soprano was first produced on the Kitchen’s 2005-06 season. Now Lampert & Pressgrove are revisiting it, adding new songs & lyrics. And this time it will be performed with a live musician rather than with the pre-recorded tracks used last time. Richard Montgomery will music direct and accompany the show. Almost all of the original cast is returning, which is a wonderful thing, because they are a fantastic group: Joey & Erica Steinhagen, Jessica Flood, Jesse Bush, Susannah Berryman, and Robert DeLuca. The only cast member not returning is Sophie Reppert, who is now too old to play the part of 12-year-old Carol. We’re holding auditions for that part this coming week.
I don’t want to write too much for my first ever blog entry, but I do want to say a few words about the musical itself. Tony & the Soprano takes place in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, and it’s really the story of the people in that neighborhood. The soprano of the title is an opera student at Julliard, played by Erica Steinhagen, who moves into the neighborhood. I won’t give away the story, but it is funny and romantic. And there’s fabulous music and singing. What’s not to like?!
You can read more about the Kitchen and Tony & the Soprano at www.kitchentheatre.org