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August 20, 2004 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-08-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Joel Muni i;1 "6'011:-
The Ahisicill"..
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SUZANNE CHESSLER
Special to the Jewish News

rill Au a //ilk

to

t,ic

,

KZ"

Aleadow Brook
h ea presents

17 his Z ~ 'tllt C011eal) ,

or

"golfers, peb pi
who love golfers
cl those w ho

n unnamed character in a new
musical comedy gets caught up
in an exaggerated dilemma of
time. Her son's bar mitzvah looms just
an hour away, but she hasn't finished
her regular golf game. Will the four-
some in front let her move ahead so
that she can complete the course and
be punctual for services?
That satirical issue arises in one of
18 humorous songs presented through
Golf: The Musical, a touring revue
being performed Aug. 25-Sept. 19 at
Meadow Brook Theatre. The produc-
tion, after a seven-month run Off-
Broadway, makes a local stop to poke
fun at the joys, frustrations, and
sometimes addictive, aspects of the
game. As a bonus, each ticket brings
access to play Rochester's Katke-
Cousins Golf Course with a guest.
'Audiences, including those who
know golf well and those who don't,
have a good time," says producer Eric
Krebs, whose Judaic cultural interests
became apparent as he developed The

A

Capitol Steps, Too Jewish, The King of
Schnorrers and Bashevis. "Even though
the show is up and running, we do

new material for each location we
visit.
"We also do new songs as the
world of golf or politics changes. For
example, we have the satiric number
`Let's Bring Golf to the Gulf,' which is
about colonizing Iraq with golf cours-
es. It's current, political and funny,
but all that may be irrelevant a year
from now."
Golf: The Musical, based on a
Krebs' concept, was built with book,
lyrics and music by Michael Roberts.
The cast includes Tony nominee Joel
Blum, who does one scene mimicking
celebrity golfers.
"I'm not a golfer, but I was a caddy
in my teen years," confesses Krebs, 59,
foLinder of the John Houseman and
Douglas Fairbanks theaters in New
York City, where he also produced Bill

Maher. Victory Begins at Home, It Ain't
Nothin' But The Blues and Electra.
"There are 30 million American
golfers plus 30 million spouses,
friends and relatives who want to give
gifts to golfers, and we hope those will
be tickets to the show or the record-
ings that have the show's music."
Roberts, 41, devoted to the links
while scripting the production, wrote
30 songs before the numbers were

`Brain' Power

The Actors' Company brings musical
`21 New Brain" to Ann Arbor.

SUZANNE CHESSLER
Special to the Jewish News

Ann Arbor
hile Golf: The Musical runs at
Meadow Brook Theatre, a
different kind of musical
satire will be staged at Performance
Network in Ann Arbor. The other
show's reality, based on the highly per-
sonal experiences of its creator, has a
distinctive story line developed to con-
vey some universal ideas.
A New Brain, presented Aug. 26-29
as the closing production of the
TreeTown Performance Festival, com-
municates the experiences of composer-
writer William Finn, who ironed out
the script with James Lapine. Finn's
main character, Gordon Schwinn,

W

8/20

2004

48

Jewish and gay, contemplates his life
and dreams as he faces brain surgery
"I was on a national tour of a chil-
dren's show when I saw A New Brain,
and I fell in love with the music,"
explains director Michael Gravame,
artistic director of the Actors' Company.
"I think everyone can relate to the cen-
tral character because of his fears and
questions as the illness ultimately gives
him a second chance at life."
Appearing in the production are
Jeff Drewno as Gordon Schwinn,
Laurie Dooley as Rhoda, Kevin
Edwards as Mr. Bungee and Blair
Mellow as the doctor. The cast pres-
ents songs about dysfunctional fami-
lies, friends, lovers and struggles.
Finn brings an award-winning
career to his writing for A New Brain.

dq,

c if pi! pi
1111Filir

A scene from 'A New Brain

He received two Tony Awards (Best
Book of a Musical and Best Original
Score) for Falsettos, and he was given
an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best
Musical and two Drama Desk Awards
for Falsettoland.
"The play ultimately is about peo-
ple doing what they want to do and
the strength of love," Gravame says.
"There are laughs along the way."



A New Brain will be performed 8
p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2
p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26-29, at the
Performance Network, 120 East
Huron, Ann Arbor. $20/$17 sen-
iors/half-price student rush/pay-
what-you-can Thursdays.
(734) 663-0681.

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