The All Night Strut
Conceived by Fran Charnas
Directed by Pam Kriger
Madison Repertory Theatre's 2001-2002 season starts with a bang with THE ALL NIGHT STRUT!, a celebration of swinging and sultry hits from the 30s and 40s.
This sassy and sophisticated revue tells stories reminiscent of the Great Depression and World War II. A fabulous foursome sings and dances its way through the favorites of the era, including "In the Mood," "Tuxedo Junction," "As Time Goes By," "Fascinating Rhythm," and many others. Delightful classics, jitterbugs and jives, and a highly-charged onstage band will make audiences feel like they're taking part in a late night jazz session or spending an elegant evening at the Savoy.
THE ALL NIGHT STRUT!, conceived by Fran Charnas, has been a successful Off-Broadway hit since it opened in 1979. The Toronto Globe and Mail calls it "a musical melting pot of blues, swing, jazz, gospel and pop, that is heated to the boiling point and then allowed to simmer." "They just don't write tunes like they used to . . . [and] those tunes they used to write so well are the heart of The All Night Strut," says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Artistic Director D. Scott Glasser said, "The All Night Strut! is rousing revue of some of America's most favorite songs and dances. A celebration of a period when our songwriters touched the heart and soul of the country, it is pure entertainment. It's the perfect way to swing into our 2001-2002 season."
Produced by The Rep
Presented at the Madison Civic Center in the Isthmus Playhouse in the Madison Civic Center.
July 20 &endash; August 19, 2001
AUDIENCE TALKBACKS are scheduled to follow the 1:30 p.m. performance on July 22 and the 7:30 p.m. performance on August 1. These informal gatherings are an opportunity for the audience to meet cast members and discuss the play.
Ticket prices are $30 for Friday and Saturday performances, and $24 for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday performances. TICKETS go on sale June 25 at 11 a.m. at the Madison Civic Center ticket office, 211 State Street, or phone (608) 266-9055. For information on GROUP SALES, call Madison Rep at 256-0029 ext. 13.
Special appearance by the playwright on Monday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Isthmus Playhouse of the Madison Civic Center. The event is free.
Pam Kriger will direct the production. Rep audiences remember Pam for her recent direction of the smash-hit musical, A...My Name Will Always Be Alice. She also directed Madison Rep productions of Little Shop of Horrors, Dames at Sea, and Forever Plaid.
The cast features Rebecca Spice and Branch Woodman. Spice was last seen in Madison Rep's production of Dames at Sea. A Milwaukee native, she acts regularly at the Skylight Opera Theatre and originated the role of Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. She also works as a jingle singer for television and radio and as a freelance cabaret artist. Woodman's credits include Crazy for You on Broadway; Disappearing Act (original cast); Big, The Musical (national tour); George M at Goodspeed Opera, and H.M.S. Pinafore at the Arizona Theatre Company. Jamie Johns is the musical director for the production. Johns has performed at the Lyric Opera Cleveland, and in Milwaukee at the Florentine Opera and the Skylight Opera, where he served as Resident Music Director in 1998.
The design team for THE ALL NIGHT STRUT! includes Rick Rasmussen, scenery; Brian Hemesath, costumes; John Frautschy, lights; and Jack Sayre, sound. The stage managers are Whitney Frazier and Mark Baughman.
Fran Charnas, who conceived Madison Repertory Theatre's summer production, THE ALL NIGHT STRUT!, will discuss the inspiration and choices that led to the show on Monday, August 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Isthmus Playhouse of the Madison Civic Center. The event is free.
In selecting the songs for THE ALL NIGHT STRUT!, Charnas immersed herself in the history and culture of America in the 1930s and '40s. She knew from the beginning that the cast would be integrated and that The Great White Way would be represented and so would Harlem. Her goal was not to recreate the period, but rather to evoke the time and music for a modern audience.
Charnas, who is a professor of musical theater at The Boston Conservatory, chose her specialty after realizing that theater companies and educational institutions had many capable directors in a wide variety of styles except for the American musical. In addition to teaching and directing The Boston Conservatory Summer Institute in Musical Theater, Charnas directs at various commercial, regional and university theaters. She is also the co-author of the 60's musical, Sheboppin', and creator of the post-World War II musical, In the Groove. Currently, she is preparing a musical based on the life of Ethel Waters.