Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Time for Singing

On Saturday, I hope you all come to see my play THE STATE OF COLORADO v. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS  at the Bad Theater Fest. However, if you're free on Sunday, you might want to head over to the York Theatre for their Musicals in Mufti presentation of A Time for Singing.

Based on Richard Llewellyn's novel How Green Was My Valley, this 1966 musical tells the story of a Welsh coal-mining town that goes through a bitter strike. The first act shows the happy memories of Huw, played as a boy by Dylan Boyd and as an older man by Greg Walter. The wedding that ends the act, however, is interrupted by a whistle signaling a strike. From here on out, the play goes to some very grim places indeed.

The original musical was criticized chiefly for its length. The York has trimmed by the dialogue, but the first act has a total of nineteen different musical numbers! The rather superior second act has a more manageable eight numbers.

Composer John Morris, who later went to Hollywood to work on (among other things) Mel Brooks movies, reportedly couldn't bring himself to trim the show. It's a pity, as this is a case where less really would have been more.

Musicals in Mufti are not full productions, but rehearsed staged readings. Though this is not a full production, it is likely to be one of your few chances of seeing an obscure piece of Broadway history. The performers are all quite game, and their talent shines through even with minimal rehearsal time.

Broadway veteran Gordon Stanley plays the patriarch of the Welsh family in the play. As Dada, he is by turns stubborn and conciliatory. Barbara Marineau (another Broadway veteran) plays his wife, Beth, who is capable of challenging not just him, but even God in her fight for her family.

For more information and for tickets go here:

York Theatre