note: entire contents copyright 2003 by Larry Stark
I said this last year:
"The only general comment I have is this: there seem to be fewer Surprises every year. I mean, there were no Musicals this year; no "experiments" that worked; little Fresh Ground broken; no galloping horrors, but no astonishments, either."
That was reversed this year. A ten-minute opera, a hiphop musical, a comedy set on Mars, and a tragedy set in a plam tree while a tsunami rose, a dialogue between a sea cucumber and a drowned piano (SIC!), two different computers as characters, and several sparkling-new "Sponsoring" companies and unfamiliar playwrights' names spangled the program, in amongst old friends in newer roles.
This was easily the "most unique" offering of the day.
It was a less than ten-minute through-sung opera! In Elizabeth Ellor's pared-to-the-bone libretto a maid told her rich-businessman's-wife first of details for the evening's dinner-party, then the shocking news that the train her husband was coming home on fell from a bridge and everybody drowned! Alone, the woman mused on her past and then on her future --- brightening to the sudden freedoms available... when, at the top of her bright fantasies, the maid again brought the "good" news that hubby missed the train!
Okay, the names "Josephine" and "Louise" mean nothing when I can't remember which sang the first note and the amazingly beautiful bravura coloratura bravado (which even I enjoyed) belonged to the wife. Kevin Fennessy directed for Raven Theatrical, and Jeffrey Goldberg (who I assume was the pianist) was a flawless Musical Director. But I cannot say whether Jacqueline Goldgorin or Mary Ann Powers took that bigger role.
[NOTE: Friends tell me it was Jacqueline Goldgorin singing the longer, more complicated role of the wife, Louise, and I --- who have never been a fan of opera --- really enjoyed her performance.]