Paulette Haupt, Artistic Director of PREMIERES was on a mission to create a new musical experience where she introduced and commissioned writers and composers who had not worked together previously to create three new musical monologues – telling original, individual stories from a single point of view – revealing their most intimate inner thoughts in words and song.
And so BORROWED DUST, ARLINGTON and FARHAD or THE SECRET OF BEING came into being and you can and should go to see them at the 30th Street Theater, 259 West 30th Street. It is a unique theatrical experience with varying degrees of clarity and musicality.
Three musical monologues lasting 90 minutes without intermission. Three fantastic actors who sing or if you prefer three singers who can act. Without them I think the evening would not be as successful.
In BORROWED DUST Hunter Foster, seated mostly on the arm of an upholstered chair has just returned from Colorado where he has had to deal with the death of his younger brother, a coroner and their mother. He has come home to New York with his brother’s journal and backpack trying to understand the tragic events. It’s a heart wrenching tour de force performance by Mr. Foster strangely mystical and revealing of all four characters.
Book & Lyrics Martin Moran, Music Joseph Thalken. Music director/piano Paul Masse, cello Leo Grinhauz. Astutely directed by Jonathan Butterell.
Next is the complex and not as clear ARLINGTON featuring Alexandra Silber who has a gorgeous voice and stage presence which makes use of Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer” to good effect. A perfectionist, seated at an upright piano she ponders the fate of her husband in the military and the effects of war on innocent people, sipping bourbon in the process. I got lost somewhere in the middle but Ms. Silber’s voice kept me enthralled.
Book & Lyrics Victor Lodato, Music Polly Pen. Kenneth Gartman Musical director/piano. Directed by Jack Cummings III.
The final musical monologue FARHAD or THE SECRET OF BEING and most successful musically makes use of a carpet that has been rolled up against the opposite wall during the preceding one acts. Arielle Jacobs is a young Afghan girl who has been brought up as a boy (to make her life easier) and who now has to accept the fact that she is a girl and not liking it very much. Will he be forgotten when she becomes who she is meant to be? It’s a fascinating tale, expertly performed. And extremely moving.
Music direction/guitar Matt Hinkley, Oud, Brandon Terzic, Percussion and perc. arrangements David Rozenblatt. Beautifully directed by Saheem Ali.
The lighting design – which is fantastic for all three productions, is the work of Jen Schriever.
For a completely different and unique musical experience with three incredible performances I urge you see INNER VOICES. Through Dec 2nd.
Tags: No Comments