Loving Repeating - A Musical of Gertrude Stein, Mission Cultural Center, October, 2012.
As Billy, our Artistic Director, wrote in the program notes, after our successes with one-act operettas "Trial by Jury" and "Oepidus Tex," we were inspired to try a longer theatrical piece. Loving Repeating was the one we chose. The music is by Stephen Flaherty and the lyrics were by Gertrude Stein. Mr. Flaherty's best known musical was the Tony award winning musical "Ragtime."
The musical is told through a series of vignettes which came from a 1934 lecture Gertrude Stein gave at the University of Chicago. It is the story of Gertrude's relationship with writing and her romance with Alice B. Toklas. Joan Goldman played the part of Gertrude giving the lecture. Wendy Tobias played young Gertrude and Rachyl Underwood played Alice B. Toklas. Some of the other parts were Georgine Skeene played by Dale Danley and Helen Furr played by Daniel Lyons and Andra Kimball as the Dancing Cow. Just so you know, Georgine and Helen were nicknames that Gertrude and Alice used.
Our production was co-directed and choreographed by Michael Mohammed. We were all in costume and yes we all danced at some point during the show. Behind the main players, the chorus sat as a Greek chorus and what we sang were used to move the story along between the various solos and duets the main players had. Some of the songs in the musical were "A Sonatina Song," "Loving Repeating," "There are Many That I Know," "A History of One," "Firefly," "My Wife is My Life," "Men," "Kiss My Lips She Did," "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene," "The Thirteenth of April," "As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story," and "Do As They Do So." We had three other instrumentalists besides our wonderful pianist Paul McCurdy to accompany us. They were a second keyboard, flute and cello.
In addition to our regular Thursday rehearsals, the chorus went on a weekend retreat at the lighthouse and cottages in Half Moon Bay to work hard on the music, the dancing and of course to have fun, eat and bond with each other. All of our hard work paid off with our two performances and our audiences really enjoyed their evenings of live theatre.
Next week will be about A Shameless Show of Holiday Shite: The Sequel.
Have a wonderful week all of you wonderful singers and know that what we accomplished in our Rise concert was one of the best times I have had singing in all of my years in the chorus. You all rock my world, especially the new sopranos and altos.
Love to you, Michael Lucero