Sunday, December 29, 2013

Show for Dec 29, 2013. Award-Winning Musical Comedy Writers Do “Lunch”

A musical gets a second life as Cabrillo Stage rolls out a new version of Lunch: A Modern Musical Myth this week. I spoke to two members of the Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Golden Globe-nominated creative team: composer Steve Dorff and book writer Rick Hawkins. They told me why they felt the story of 11th-hour redemption was ripe for revival, and how they updated both script and songs. We also listened to some of the original music, recorded in 1994 with an all-star studio cast including Carol Burnett, Michael Rupert, Laurie Beechman and Davis Gaines. Lunch Reimagined premieres Jan 3 at Cabrillo Stage. More info here.

Click the Listen arrow at the top of this post to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Show for Feb 24, 2013. The New Peer Gynt.

150 years after its creation, Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt remains sui generis and uncategorizable: folktale and fever dream, existential inquiry and social satire, straddling romanticism and modernism. Its locales include Norwegian mountain villages, a troll castle, the Moroccan coast and a Cairo lunatic asylum. A new adaptation mounted by Kimberly Jannarone at UC Santa Cruz turns Gynt into a kind of living gallery, with different scenes staged simultaneously in multiple venues and the audience wandering among them. Kimberly spoke to me about the history of the play, her own Gynt-mania (including a trip to Gynt’s Norwegian stomping grounds) and the play’s enduring popularity. Joining us was actor Nancy Carlin, who plays Peer Gynt’s mother, Åse, in the production.

You can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Show for Feb 26, 2012. Ancient Stories, New Technology: The Thinning Veil

Everybody loves a good dysfunctional family drama, which is one reason the Oresteia and other Greek tales of the strife-torn House of Atreus have never gone out of fashion. Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra and the gang are at it again in a new play premiering this week at UC Santa Cruz. The production draws freely on classical sources including the Illiad and the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and adds a high-tech twist: it takes place simultaneously on two stages representing two distinct realities, bridged by live video streaming. I spoke with writer/director Kirsten Brandt and producer Ted Warburton, both of UCSC’s Theater Arts Department, about the performance, the timeless truths of Greek tragedy and the use of “telematic” technology in theater.

More details on the performance, which runs from Mr. 2 through 11, here.

Click the Play arrow above to listen to the show, or you can download the MP3 here (if using a Mac, control-click the link and choose “Save Link As…” If using a PC, right-click and choose Save Target As…”)