Newcastle Music Directory

Funny Valentine: World Premiere Season

Royal Exchange Salon Theatre 14, 21, 28 April 2007

Radio play cabaret première in Newcastle revives 1920s-1930s Broadway greats.

This April, theatre goers in Newcastle will have the opportunity to experience the heady early days of Broadway, through a biographically accurate exploration of the turbulent creative partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart.

David Baker, writer and musical coordinator, says “Almost everyone has heard of Rodgers’ later work with Hammerstein, and their musicals Oklahoma, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Our story examines the earlier, and in many ways richer collaboration, particularly the love/hate relationship between Rodgers and the unpredictable, witty, gay and alcoholic Hart.

“Many of their songs, like ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Blue Moon’, and ‘Funny Valentine’, have become jazz standards, and you will be surprised how many of these classic songs are hidden in your subconscious”.

The production takes the form of a 1940s radio play, with 14 characters played by 2 actors, 4 singers, and the 5-piece band. It features 17 songs by Rodgers and Hart performed by an ensemble put together for the production which draws musical talent from Le Minibus, The Tiger Ragtime Jazz Band , Swingmania, Castanet Club, and featuring singers Anousha Victoire, Ross Brown, David Baker and Kate Armstrong.

Director Dean Winter (former artistic director Morpeth Jazz Festival, ABC Music Awards), has brought together actors Fingers de Main (MC Sydney Comedy Club) and Tony Masters (Blurred, Summer of the Aliens, The Promised Woman) in the leading roles to explore the germination, musical development, successes and ultimate break down of the twenty year professional partnership.

Funny Valentine: The Words, Music and Turbulent Partnership of Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers premières at The Royal Exchange Salon Theatre, 32-34 Bolton Street, Newcastle, 7.30pm Saturdays 14th, 21st, and 28th April.

Posted on March 28th, 2007 in Events

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