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Come listen to “Songs for a New World” in March and April

January 15, 2009

Shows

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A dear friend is part of a musical-theatrical clan I consider a spiritual homeland in southern West Virginia. A month ago, she invited me to be of one of four characters (‘Man One’) in an area production of Jason Robert Brown’s wonderful 1995 off-Broadway show “Songs for a New World.” Oh, what a fabulous, witty, moving, profane and powerful cycle of songs. Oh, what a bunch of challenging songs to sing. Omi-gaaaawd….. That was the third reaction after I began diving into the libretto and score, trying out the songs Man One is tasked to sing. I am now past the freak-out stage after several weeks of intense rehearsals. I’ve got a new voice coach whipping my vocal chords into Broadway mode. God, I love this show. Killer songs. A masterpiece of four-part composition. A slew of genres (often within the same song), moving from pop to gospel, Broadway chorus to R and B. Come see what we’ve worked up from one of the finest new shows in recent American musical theater. Two opportunities:

MARCH 20 and 21, Beckley, W.Va.:

WHEN: Dinner at 6:30 p.m.; show 8 p.m., on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21
WHERE: Tamarack in Beckley, W.Va. A dinner theater show in the cozy 150-seat theater of this arts and culture showcase. The food will be fine, I assure you, as they’ve got excellent cookery going on there.
MENU: Tamarack Chop House Salad; Fennel-seed Roasted Salmon with Ciopino-Saffron Broth; Homemade Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries
TICKETS:
$40 a person. Call 1-88TAMARACK ext. 148 or 168.
NOTE: This version of the show is the family-friendly one, missing a few of the ribald references and language of the off-Broadway production
……………….

APRIL 10 and 11, Princeton, W.Va.:

WHEN: Dinner at 6:30 p.m.; show 8 p.m. on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.
WHERE: The Room Upstairs, run by the RiffRaff Arts Collective at 869 Mercer Street in downtown Princeton, W.Va. It’s one of the coolest performance spaces in West Virginia.
MENU: To be announced (but I’ve had the cook’s food from this festival and it’s very very good).
TICKETS: $22 a person. Call 304-425-6425.
NOTE: The full Monty, language-wise. (Including the funniest in-your-face song about Santa Claus ever written, from the perspective of his long-suffering wife.) There will also be a Create West Virginia regional meeting that day with the show as the evening’s entertainment.

PS- Now, someone tell me what ‘Ciopino‘ is.
PSS- OK, I just Googled it and as a person of Italianate extraction, I really should have known this.

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