Most entertainment outlets in Columbia are providing holiday-inspired fare in December. However, Trustus Theatre – always pursuing an opportunity to bring something fresh and different to the table - is offering a musical comedy about friends writing a musical about writing a musical. [TITLE OF SHOW] - taken from the space on a music theatre festival's application form which asks for the [title of show] – is a piece that hilariously and irreverently follows creative artists through the gauntlet of self-expression under a deadline. [TITLE OF SHOW] opens on the Thigpen Main Stage December 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm. The show runs through December 16th. After a break for the holidays, the show runs January 3rd through the 12th after Columbia rings in the New Year.
Artistic Director Dewey Scott-Wiley was confident in bringing [TITLE OF SHOW] to Columbia during the holidays because it provides an evening full of laughs while still exploring the journey of artists trying to create new work – an aspect of theatre arts that Trustus has experienced annually during their Trustus Playwrights' Festival. "This show is a smart and funny celebration of creating original work," said Scott-Wiley. "It is both a satirical send up of musical theatre, and an inspirational show that encourages us all to find our artistic voice and be true to it. [TITLE OF SHOW] captures the spirit of everything Trustus strives to do." She liked the show so much; she even decided to direct it. RAndy Moore, music director of "Best Local Production" AVENUE Q and long-time collaborator with Scott-Wiley, was brought on to musically direct the show and to play Larry the pianist.
This Tony-nominated musical follows Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers who are nobodies in New York – that is, until they hear about a new musical theatre festival. However, the deadline for submissions is a mere three weeks away. With nothing to lose, the pair decides to try to create something new with the help of their friends Susan, Heidi and Larry on the piano. With the cast in place, Jeff and Hunter begin a conversation about what to write. Eventually, Jeff Suggests they write about figuring out what to write. They make a pact to write up until the festival's deadline, and they dream about the show changing their lives. [TITLE OF SHOW] is, above all, a love letter to the musical theatre - a uniquely American art form - and to the joy of collaboration and creation.
Scott-Wiley saw a unique challenge in directing [TITLE OF SHOW]: she needed a cast of friends who could vibe incredibly well together. "In order for the show's necessary chemistry to work," starTEd Scott-Wiley, "I had to assemble a talented group that has worked together a great deal." Trustus Company Members Kevin Bush, Matthew DeGuire, and Robin Gottlieb were brought together to bring this group of friends to life on the Trustus stage. Celebrated Columbia actor Laurel Posey rounds out the cast, making this a cast boasting experience and, more importantly, great friendships that follow them once the lights go down on stage.
Cast member Kevin Bush applauds Scott-Wiley's approach to casting this musical. "We're playing these characterizations of real people -- the real creators of the show -- who all had histories with each other as they were creating the show," said Bush. "We're getting to relive their process, substituting our own personal friendships with each other. It's a really special opportunity to connect, both personally and artistically."
"This is a piece that really pulls back the curtain on the creative process - on the challenges we all face when we take risks," continued Bush. "It applies not just to artist types, but anyone who has had an idea and then thought, 'Well, I could never succeed at that because of x, y, or z.' I know audiences will love seeing the characters and their very real relationships on stage. Anyone who's ever had a circle of friends that has developed their own 'inside' sense of humor will totally appreciate the way this show celebrates friendship."
[TITLE OF SHOW] opens on the Trustus Main Stage on Friday, December 7th at 8:00pm and runs through December 16th, 2012. After the New Year, the show returns on January 3rd, 2013 and runs through January 12th, 2013. Main Stage shows start at 8:00pm Thursdays through Saturdays, and Sunday matinees are at 3:00pm. Tickets are $27.00 for adults, $25.00 for military and seniors, and $20.00 for students. Half-price Student Rush-Tickets are available 15 minutes prior to curtain.
Trustus Theatre is located at 520 Lady Street, behind the Gervais St. Publix. Parking is available on Lady St. and on Pulaski St. The Main Stage entrance is located on the Publix side of the building. For more information or reservations call the box office Tuesdays through Saturdays 1-6 pm at 803-254-9732.
Visit www.trustus.org for all show information and season information.
Pictured: Kevin Bush, Matthew DeGuire, Laurel Posey and Robin Gottlieb. Photo Credit: Jonathan Sharpe.