November 20, 2019 || Vol. 92, No. 10 - page 8

November 20, 2019
The Outlook 8
C omp a n y S t e a l s t h e S h ow
A t W o o d s T h e a t r e
Being a professional singer
is a gift on its own, yet being
able to write songs is even more
On a Winter’s Night
featured five singer-songwriters,
each having solo careers as well
as their collaborations with each
other that have occurred for over
a decade last Saturday, Nov. 16 at
Pollak Theatre.
Christine Lavin, John Gorka,
Patty Larkin, Cliff Eberhardt, and
Cheryl Wheeler are among some
of the best songwriters in the game.
Each of the performers sang three
songs of their choosing back-to-
back, and then joined the stage
The night started with Lavin
taking center stage, guitar in
hand. She began her set with her
original song, ‘Sometimes Mother
Really Does Know Best.’ Before
starting, she asked an audience
member (who was the mother of a
teenager daughter) for their names
to insert into her lyrics. She was
very interactive with the audience
during her whole performance,
which made for a fun night.
Following her was Eberhardt,
who hadme cracking up the whole
time. Not onlywas he an incredible
singer and guitar player, but he
was so funny and entertaining.
His unique voice in addition to
his raspy tone suited his style of
writing. He performed a song he
wrote for a play he worked on over
the summer.
Larkin followed, and her
powerful alto voice combined
with her skilled guitar playing was
amazing. She used a violin bow to
manipulate sounds on the guitar
by sliding it against the strings.
Larkin energetically sang her
original songs, ‘Who holds your
hand’ and ‘Winterland.’
Introduced to the stage next
was Gorka. He started his set with
the song ‘True in Time.’ It was
an emotional song about passing
time. He switched to piano for
‘Let Them In,’ which is based off
a poem about fallen soldiers.
Finally, Wheeler took stage.
She played her first song, ‘If I
Die Before You’ on ukulele. She
had a very interesting voice that
you could listen to for hours. She
was also a comedian, making
jokes about her appearance and
lifestyle. Her last song carried the
important issue of guns.
All of the artists had huge
personalities, which made them
incredible performers. After the
intermission, they came out on
stage and took turns once more
singing their songs of choice, but
added harmonization and extra
instrumentals to each others.
When Gorka’s turn came
around, he had the audience
hysterical with his comedic
original, ‘People My Age.’ The
lyrics spoke of the grossness
of aging individuals. His facial
expressions as he sang were
entertaining to say the least.
For one of the last songs of the
night, Patty and the gang sang
her song, ‘Pundits and Poets.’
The audience members were on
their feet, singing along. For the
first encorne song, they sang Bob
Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released.’
The group harmonizations were
Each artist was amazing on
their own, but the most special
part was their evident bond of
friendship. It was a fun night, and
I now have a greater respect for
Songwr i t er s and Sing in’
O n a W i n t e r ’ s N i g h t
PHOTO COURTESY of Tina Colella (above). IMAGE TAKEN from (banner)
The songwriters got
the crowd on their feet with fun songs.
With immense style and
musicality, Stephen Sondheim
And George Furth’s
visits Woods Theatre this
season on Nov. 20-24, 2019,
with past dates of Nov. 15-17.
Presented by the Monmouth
University Department of
Music and Theatre,
direction comes from Sheri
Anderson, musical direction
from Michael Gilch, and
choreography fromBob Boross.
The comedy’s music and lyrics
were crafted by Sondheim, with
a book by Furth.
Famed theatrical producer
Harold Prince, known as
the “Prince of Broadway,”
on Broadway, with its
first performance on April 26,
revolves around the
experiences of Robert, played
by Joe Marano, a charming
and ever-giving bachelor and his
ten closest friends: five married
couples. They always need him,
and he is consistently there to
provide support in every way.
That said, Robert has never been
married and starts to question
his reasonings as more people
Stemming from the 35
birthday surprise party held
by the couples for Robert (or
“Bobby,” “Bob,” “Bobby baby,”
“Bobby bubby,” etc.),
is comprised of vignettes about
the man, his friends, and his
three, very different girlfriends.
Love, sex, marriage, divorce, and
friendship are the hot topics of the
show, conveyed humorously but
with a great heart.
Known to be one of the first
Broadway musicals to highlight
the dark and light sides of real
adult relationships,
was a groundbreaking work.
The Sondheim-Furth show was
nominated for fourteen Tony
Awards in its original run, taking
home six of those awards.
Monmouth’s production (my first
experience with the show), I can
understand why
such a hit.
The first eye-catching element
of the University’s
was the set, conceptualized by
Fred DelGuercio. Woods Theatre
has a thrust stage, with audience
members on all sides except the
back wall. This staging format
makes for a perfect level of
immersion for the audience, as
players are commonly very close
to those sitting, and can interact
with audience members directly
if desired.
Onstage, the scene was
minimalistic, with four dark,
rectangular tables accented with
glowing candles. A personal bar
sat upstage right. Tall, lit panels
(some with music notes on them)
lined the back wall and would
shift in color depending on the
scene; the lighting generally set at
a cool blue akin to the Playbill’s
cover. The tables were easily
moveable depending on the
setting: apartments, balconies, a
club, and a park included.
The incredible band, comprised
of a pianist, an upright bassist, and
a drummer, sat upstage center.
The musical direction always
kept true to
’s jazzy
and heartfelt sound. The score is
immensely layered yet executed
well with a three-piece band.
The entire set design, paired
with stellar lighting design by
David Landau, fit a fresh and
sophisticated NYC setting (with
a nod to the colorfully-mod 70’s).
The cast of the show indeed
performed with the spirit of the
older roles they embodied. All
The Prado Museum
On Screen at Monmouth
he Prado Museum: A
narrated by Jeremy Irons,
was screened last Monday,
Nov. 18 at Pollak Theatre. The
film explored the paintings
and other art pieces from the
world famous Prado Museum.
The artwork, paintings,
sculptures and others tell the
story of Spain throughout
history. Some of the most
notable pieces of art featured
The Third of May
, Diego
Nobleman with
his Hand on his Chest
, and
Rogier van der Weyden’s
Descent from the Cross
In the film, Irons explained
how Maria Isabella of
Braganza began this museum
because of her love for
different types of art and
how people have added to it,
along with telling the story of
Spain’s rich history over time.
Although Irons said he
wasn’t an expert in art, most
of the audience wasn’t either.
Like us, Irons can see and
appreciate the beauty of the
art and how much we can
learn from it.
It was interesting to see
art pieces that can tell a
story throughout history.
Sometimes it’s hard sitting
in a history class to connect
to the people and places that
seem so far removed from
where we are today, but
seeing art or other artifacts
that tell the story of all of
the kings, queens, wars and
even emotions of the people
during different periods in
history gives a whole new
perspective on what we read
from a textbook.
Since a lot of us may
never get the chance to go
to Spain to see this museum
or these paintings in person,
this was a great opportunity
to experience the beautiful
works of people who lived so
long ago and help us to see,
understand and connect with
their stories and journeys.
IMAGES TAKEN from @joe.rapolla Instagram (above) and Artwaley (background)
The show will
go on through Nov. 20-24.
IMAGE TAKEN from Wikipedia
Nobleman with His Hand on
His Chest
featured in the
actors were necessary for vocally
and emotionally supporting the
show, and they did so in unique
and powerful ways; there were
18 cast members in total, with 14
main and supporting roles aside
four featured dancers.
One stand-out comedic moment
included feisty couple Harry,
played by Tom Lynskey, and
Sarah, played by Kat Fernandez,
continuously challenging each
other in karate throws. Lynskey
himself led the fight choreography,
and Fernandez, Marano, and
himself maintained comedic
timing while having to exert high
energy levels.
Another highlight came from
the frazzled Amy, played by
London Jones, one of Robert’s best
friends set to get married to Paul,
played by Mitchell Hendricks.
Jones handled one of the most
challenging musical theatre songs
speed-wise (‘Getting Married
Today’) with rapid-fire diction and
impressive stamina. After some
time worrying and calling the
wedding off, Paul and Amy still
end up husband and wife.
On her time in
Jones commented, “I’m grateful
to have worked in such a positive
and uplifting environment,
especially when it came to
working with ‘Getting Married
Jones concluded, “I’ve always
been hesitant when it comes to
singing in musicals, but all the
positivity I’ve received from
my castmates and creative team
helped me face my fear and find
my love for singing, no matter
how fast the tempo might be!”
production of
equally as entertaining as it is
smart and insightful. This show
is appealing in that it stimulates
thoughts about relationships
beyond superficial pleasures.
Regardless of how bizarre or
complex they can be, friends
and lovers can define a life,
ultimately making one realize
more about themselves.
PHOTO TAKEN by Erica Barbara
Monmouth celebrated
composer Stephen Sondheim’s upcom-
ing 90
birthday with the choice of performing
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16
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