Theatre to open year with 'Songs for a New World'


A contemporary pop score fuels Jason Robert Brown’s revue-style musical “Songs for a New World,” the SUNY Oswego music and theatre departments’ presentation opening Feb. 26 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

“Brown’s lovely story-songs are cries from the heart by a quartet of coffee mates who hang at the Santa Maria Cafe,” Backstage.com’s Madeleine Shaner noted in a 2003 review. “The musical isn’t about a story or conflict but primarily about bonding and about the moments that make up lives.”

The show’s music by Jason Robert Brown “came about randomly with many of the songs first being written for other projects,” said musical director Todd Graber, chair of the college’s music department. “However, he puts them together in such a way that the effect is one of seamless unity. Thematically, each song comments on how people survive those moments in life when things go awry.”

Lyrics tend to focus on “that one moment when everything seems to change, where you reach the edge of the situation and you have to make that life-altering decision,” said director Jonel Langenfeld-Rial of Oswego’s theatre department. “One of the songs, ‘A New World’ brings to mind the image of a crossroads. We all hit times in our lives when things seem to be going really well and then suddenly, it all comes crashing down.”

The ensemble cast of Alicia Taggert, Jessica Quindlen, Elizabeth Enwright, Olivia Zeis, Jackie Mienkiewicz, Rob Beshures, Erik Shuler, Charles Smith, Dylan Duffy, Nick Pike and Jamine Coley bring the vibrant, inspirational score to life.

This production of “Songs for a New World” also features Tim Baumgartner as scenic and lighting designer, costume designer Kitty Macey and sound designer Steve Shull. Johan Godwaldt serves as technical director. Stage manager Ben Harrison rounds out the team.

The show is suggested for audiences 15 years old and older.

“Songs for a New World” will preview at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, with all seats priced at $6. Additional 8 p.m. performances will take place Feb. 26 and 27, and March 5 and 6, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, March 7. 

Tickets for the regular run cost $14 ($12 seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). Tickets may be purchased by calling the Tyler Box Office at 315-312-2141 or online at http://tickets.oswego.edu. Parking is free in campus lots on evenings and weekends.

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(Posted: Jan 27, 2010)

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