|Hans and Charolotte take a trip (David Carey and
Kendall Anne Thompson, photo by Amy Anderson)
|young Hans with his student (Andy Frye and Shinah Brashears,
photo by Amy Anderson)
7th House's first new original musical Jonah and the Whale employed a folk/Americana style (written by David Darrow along with Blake Thomas, I'm still waiting for the cast recording!). Showing his versatility, David has here composed a score that's more traditional musical theater, classical and orchestral, but just as strong. There's no song list in the playbill (perhaps because it wasn't finalized at the time of printing?), but I counted about eight or so distinct songs, varied yet consistent in tone, with soaring melodies and harmonies that make you want to shut your eyes and just listen. I don't know if David's been to Vienna, but the song about Vienna sounds like he has. I only spent a weekend in Vienna but I lived in Salzburg for four months (which I seem to be talking about a lot lately), and this song perfectly encapsulates my feelings about my long ago Austrian hometown. This is the kind of music that brings tears to your eyes, perhaps without even knowing why. Grant's book weaves a story around these songs with moments of humor and hope, as well as poignancy. Seriously folks, these kids have talent!
|the cast of The Great Work (photo by Amy Anderson)
This is a story that celebrates music and art as well as family and relationships, and explores that delicate balance between the two. It's a truly beautiful creation of music, movement, words, and props, with many thoughtful lovely details. I said it last year and I'll say it again - 7th House is the future of music-theater, and the future looks bright. The good news is we don't have to wait another year for their next production; they are presenting a new adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel Orlando next summer. So head down to the Guthrie soon, and then mark your calendars for June to experience the work of this promising young theater company.