July 21, 2010: There’s a new musical in the wings of Stage 2, waiting for its turn in the spotlight. But The Memory Show is overshadowed by tonight’s much anticipated opening of the “other” new musical Pool Boy.
Pool Boy runs until August 8.
The Memory Show will begin previews just days after that, on August 18. The Barrington Stage Company Music Lab is in full swing. And the two shows could not be more different.
Of course, we have written several advance stories on Pool Boy and now here is the official word on The Memory Show, just in from Barrington Stage Company.
Pittsfield, MA: Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab, under the mentorship of Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist William Finn, continues its fifth season with the world premiere of The Memory Show, a new musical with music by Zach Redler and book and lyrics by Sara Cooper.
Directed by Joe Calarco (BSC’s The Burnt Part Boys and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick), The Memory Show begins performances on Tuesday, August 12 at 7:30pm and has an Opening Night set for Sunday, August 22 at 7:30pm at BSC’s Stage 2 space, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. The premiere engagement is scheduled to run through Sunday, August 29.
The cast features Broadway’s Catherine Cox (Broadway: Footloose, Baby, Oh! Coward) and Leslie Kritzer (Broadway: Sondheim on Sondheim, A Catered Affair, Legally Blonde).
The Memory Show is a two-person comic tragedy about the complicated relationship between a woman who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her estranged daughter who moves back home to Brighton Beach to care for her. As the mother starts forgetting the present; her daughter begins remembering the past.
Musical Theatre Lab curator William Finn calls The Memory Show “funny and heartbreaking and moving in many unimaginable ways. This is a story of a mother and daughter trying gamely to hold on to what they remember of each other. It’s amazing how painful hilarious can be.”
The fledgeling work received a staged reading last summer at Barrington Stage’s Musical Theatre Lab under the title Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom. It was developed at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where Redler and Cooper met and received their graduate degrees.
The production features music direction by Vadim Feichtner (BSC’s Spelling Bee and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick); scenic design by Brian Prather, costume design by Kristina Sneshkoff, lighting design by Joel Shier, sound design by Adair Mallory, production stage manager is Michael Andrew Rodgers and assistant director is Nick Potenzieri.
Zach Redler (Music) is an active composer, pianist, copyist, musicologist and musical director. He is very excited to be premiering The Memory Show at Barrington Stage. Recent productions as composer: Loving Leo (workshop at ATF, book/lyrics by Sara Cooper); The Memory Show (NAMT Festival of New Musicals; reading, Barrington Stage Company); Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (Joe’s Pub, DC Arts Center, NY Fringe Festival 2008 Best Musical); May Day; Adeyele. Copying: Shrek (Kaye-Houston Music). He is a member of ASCAP, Local 802 and graduate of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.
Sara Cooper (Book and Lyrics) Sara is a member of the Dramatists Guild and ASCAP, and is also a recent graduate of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at the Tisch School of the Arts (NYU). Bookwriting and lyric credits include: The Memory Show (formerly titled Memory Is The Mother Of All Wisdom), NAMT Festival of New Musicals (2009), reading at Barrington Stage Company (2009), songs featured in New Songwriters Showcase at Baldwin-Wallace College (2009), and Bronfman Artist Fellowship (2009); Loving Leo, workshop, Adirondack Theatre Festival (July 2010), Artist Retreat, Weston Playhouse (April 2010); The Yehuatl, (20-minute musical) Lee Strasberg Institute (2009), Dramatists Guild Friday Night Footlights (2008).
Performances of The Memory Show are August 18 to 29, Tuesday through Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm and Sunday at 7:30pm at BSC Stage 2, 36 Linden St., Pittsfield. Opening Night: Sunday, August 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $15-$45. Seniors: $20 all matinees. Pay What You Can Night for 35 year olds and younger: Thurs. August 26 at 7:30pm. Post-show discussion with the cast will be held following the Tuesday, August 24 performance. For ticket information call 413-236-8888, stop by the BSC Box Office at 30 Union Street or visit www.barringtonstageco.org.
About the Musical Theatre Lab (MTL)
Celebrating its 5th year, BSC’s Musical Theatre Lab, overseen by Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist William Finn, is a place for young musical theatre writers to develop their work on all levels: from staged readings to workshops to full productions. Since its creation, five world premieres and four workshops have been produced.
The critically-acclaimed The Burnt Part Boys (2006), written by Nathan Tysen, Chris Miller and Marianne Elder, received a production at Playwrights Horizons in May/June 2010. Barry Wyner’s 2007 hit musical Calvin Berger recently received critical acclaim at the George Street Playhouse, and an Off-Broadway production is planned.
In 2008 The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Joe Calarco (book), Nathan Tysen (lyrics) and Chris Miller (music) received a full production (after a 2007 MTL workshop) and was chosen one of the Top 10 year-end shows by both The Boston Globe and The Berkshire Eagle. See Rock City and Other Destinations by Adam Mathias and Brad Alexander was also produced in 2008 and won a Top 10 nod from Metroland, and will receive its NYC premiere at The Transport Group this summer.