Thursday, October 11, 2018

York Theatre Presents "Midnight At The Never Get" - An Intimate Cabaret That Links the 1960s and Eternity


Mark Sonnenblick has spent the past several years developing an intimate cabaret show that is now featured at the York Theatre through November 4th. He has written the Book, Music and Lyrics for the show that takes audiences back to the days just before and after the Stonewall riots, when gay clubs were illegal and underground. We follow Trevor Copeland as he waits in a place outside of time and space for the arrival of his erstwhile pianist, songwriter and lover to join him in this version of eternity. There is a bit of "Waiting for Godot" in this piece. While he waits, Trevor regales us with songs that tell the story of his life, his love, and his beloved cabaret in the Village - "The Never Get."

As we learn of the arc of the relationship between Trevor and his Pianist, we are reminded that because of the legal and societal pressures on the gay community in those challenging days, living "in the closet" complicated many lives and relationships. There is also an acknowledgement that not everyone in the gay community supported the "Freaks" who were protesting in the streets, The gay community was far from homogeneous or monolithic.

Jeremy Cohen and Sam Bolen
"Midnight at the Never Get"
by Mark Sonnenblick
York Theatre
Through November 4th

The variety of musical styles kept the evening interesting with torch songs, Gershwinesque ballads, and the wickedly ironic "My Boy In Blue." Mr. Bolen's vocal range handled the full spectrum of styles, and he and Mr. Cohen blended seamlessly throughout the show.

Woven into the fabric of the songs and the narrative are grim reminders of how precarious life could be for a gay man in NYC in the '60s. The shadows of police harassment, arrest, the incipient AIDS crisis are all fodder for Trevor's patter and songs. Sam Bolen carries the weight of the show as Trevor. His easy charm and mellifluous voice hold us in thrall as the evening unwinds. As his Pianist, Jeremy Cohen provides a nice balance, occasionally leaving the piano to interact with Trevor.

Jeremy Cohen and Sam Bolen
"Midnight at the Never Get"
by Mark Sonnenblick
York Theatre
Through November 4th

This piece is Directed by Max Friedman, with Choreography by Andrew Palermo, Musical Direction by Adam Podd. Scenic Design is by Christopher Swader and Justin Swader, Costumes by Vanessa Leuck, Lighting by Jamie Roderick, Sound by Kevin Heard.

Musically, they are backed up by Josh Bailey on Drums, Nick Grinder on Trombone, Brian Krock on Sax/Clarinet/Flute, David Neves on Trumpet, and Robert Pawlings on Bass.

This delightful and thought-provoking cabaret show runs through November 4th at the York Theater at St. Peter's. Don't miss it.

Enjoy!

Al


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"Review of "Plumbelly" by Gary S. Maynard - First time author takes us on a voyage through the rough seas of fleeing dysfunctional families


There are many things I love about this novel, a debut by author Gary S. Maynard. Drawing from a deep well of personal experiences sailing around the world with his family, he weaves a fascinating coming of age account of three teenagers who flee their dysfunctional families and set sail in the salvaged sloop "Plumbelly" to parts unknown in the South Pacific. Maynard limns his characters in such a way that I cared about the fate of each of them - even the unlikable ones.

Maynard's style and voice are reminiscent of Joseph Conrad. His love and intricate knowledge of the sea and of sailing jump off of each page. He uses precise nautical terms to invite the reader aboard the sloop and into the adventures and challenges faced by Gabe, Tanya, and Lloyd. We watch them grow in their relationships with each other and with the daunting environment they have brave. The seas they sail are rough indeed, literally and figuratively. And Maynard draws us along, as we eagerly anticipate every tack and rogue wave that may await this trio of intrepid young sailors.

I look forward to more adventure stories from this promising author.

Enjoy!

Al