Nothing against big musical productions, but sometimes you just want a more pared-down show. For one weekend only, Stars has got just the ticket with "Songs for a New World," a song cycle presented as a concert.
Musical director Brock Christian said his first experience with the show was as a freshman at UCLA in 2004.
"I was immediately drawn to the music, the emotion, the intensity, and the composer’s style. I’ve performed two or three of the songs in revue-type shows, but never the show in its entirety."
He pitched the show for a weekend slot, between “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which closed last weekend, and "Camelot," opening Sept. 27.
The show's songs all hinge on the idea that one moment can change everything, whether it's aboard a ship bound for the New World or a home during the Revolutionary War.
"The biggest theme explored in this show is one of 'the moment of decision," Christian wrote in an email. "As the show begins, each character is fearful of the future/unknown. Even the smallest step forward seems treacherous. However, each character recognizes and hears the 'new world' calling him to follow. Each character along the way must decide to make a choice, take a stand, turn around, or go back."
Christian envisioned the show in a concert style and said he was fortunate to find the perfect cast: Ken Burdick, Caley Mayhall, Lori LaMacchia and Zachary Gonzalez.
"Given our mere three weeks of rehearsal, it has been been an absolute pleasure and privilege to perform/collaborate with Caley, Lori, Ken, and Zach onstage."
Accompanying the performers is Christian on piano, Brad Briscoe on drums and Adam Clements on bass.
"Songs" features a little something for everyone with phenomenal music and performances, Christian said.
"We are going to give one hell of a show!"