“Words and Music-A New Musical Revue” written by old friends Aaron Robinson and Suzy Hallett will makes its debut on the world stage on October 6th at the Parker Meeting Hall, located at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta . The show is new, fresh, and crisp as a fall day. It’s a much needed breath of fresh air, a deep sigh, and a cleansing breath all in one. It’s a treat we deserve and a lift that we need, a lot, right now.
The show is sung beautifully by a company of 4 singers: Nancy Durgin, Kristen Robinson, Kyle Aarons and Jeffrey Caron. Each brings stage and performance experience to the debut. The cast originally included denizen of the local stage Ellen Whalley who had a minor but ill-timed medical issue and had to leave the cast, sadly, with less than a week to performance day.
Robinson called on another friend Nancy (We were in school together) Durgin. Nan stepped up, stepped in and brings her own special charm, and laugh, to the show.
The opening number “Hello, Old Friends,” in the style of a Stephen Sondheim / Hal Prince 1970’s musical is even more apt with Durgin’s addition to the cast. The jaunty number celebrates old and new friends as the singers pair off musically with separate melodies before coming together in a bright counterpoint.
This is followed quickly by company numbers that harken back to the days of Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. These provide catchy tunes that set the mood for the evening. One knows it is going to be a fun night.
The dialogue does not have the temerity to pretend it is a script. It introduces the words and music as is appropriate for a revue. It also is crafted carefully enough to allow the personalities of the four performers to shine through.
“Kissed by the Moon” is sung by Jeffrey Caron as a lilting waltz in the style of vaudeville’s gilded age. “Why Won’t You Dance With Me ?” is a comedic number referencing musical quotes from “ You Are My Lucky Star” all the way to a waltz by Johann Strauss.
Kristen Robinson will introduce “Quiet Christmas” surely destined to become a Christmas classic, and just think YOU can be there to hear it first!
“We’re a Pair,” which might remind you of Irving Berlin’s “You’re Just in Love” and Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top” is sung with gusto by Kyle Aarons and Kristen Robinson.
“The Piano Player” in the style of Fats Waller’s “This Joint is Jumpin” and “Handful of Keys” is reminiscent of what one imagines the Cotton Club to have been in the 1940s. The temptation to dance in the aisles may be overwhelming
The last musical set of the evening deals with “love”. In the style of Burt Bacharach, “Love Found Me” is a ballad to take one back to a time when love was naive. “What is Love” asks the question: is love paradise or is it hell?
“Final Wish,” sung poignantly by Nancy Durgin, tells the story of a woman who has not had that one great passion for which she has longed: “My time upon this earth has been marked with mixed reviews, first act romance has escaped me, now I long for my debut” and “I refuse to turn the page until I’ve truly loved someone.”
The penultimate number “Wondering Why” is dedicated to the victims and families of the Las Vegas tragedy. It is a powerful and moving piece that evokes “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
The show will make you think, laugh, and hopefully celebrate that we have persons who can create such fun and such a treasure right here in our little corner of the world.
The Outro to the show is an up-tempo, bouncy number that sounds as though it belongs in a Broadway Show. It might even provoke a bit of “humming as you leave the theater.”
The voices of Caron, Robinson, Durgin and Aarons, while lovely on their own, combine in a truly magnificent performance.
There are many more surprises in the various offerings that are sure to delight. It’s not often that something brand-new appears on the stage, let alone this many never-before-heard songs. Come celebrate the “Words and Music.” Join in the fun of a World Première in your own back yard.
“Words & Music - A New Musical Revue: The Songs of Hallett & Robinson" is an exciting new show. It debuts Friday & Saturday, October 6th & 7th at 7:30pm. There is one matinee: Sunday Oct 8th at 2pm. For Reservations call 207-882-6335 - Tickets are $15.