Stew and Heidi Rodewald's FAMILY ALBUM Opens at OSF, 7/1-8/31
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will open the world premiere of Family Album, with book and lyrics by Stew, music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, created with and directed by Joanna Settle. The opening performance is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5 in the Thomas Theatre; previews are July 1, 3 and 4. Family Album was commissioned by OSF with support from the Edgerton Foundation. The show runs through August 31.
Told through soul-stirring rock 'n roll music, Family Album is the story of middle-aged rocker Heimvey and his hip and influential, but relatively low-income band. Seasoned by years of touring throughout the country and on their way to NYC to open for a popular young band at Madison Square Garden, they land at the home of a former band member. Cleo, Heimvey's ex-girlfriend and former muse, and her art dealer husband/stockbroker Norman, live with their precocious child. The visit stirs deep questioning about choosing the artist's life or the homeowner's, and as alliances are formed and frayed, everyone starts to itch for what someone else seems to have, and assumptions and expectations are shuffled and shattered.
Lue Morgan Douthit, OSF director of literary development and dramaturgy, noted, "Stew and Heidi were the first artists that Bill approached after the Edgerton Foundation gave OSF funding to commission five musicals. And we have been rocking ever since. We are so excited that this poignant story is the first of our Edgerton musicals to premiere at OSF. A sharply-tuned ear to the rhythm and poetry of our contemporary culture, this musical explores in hard-rocking Technicolor the cost of selling out. Even when one follows one's bliss."
Stew and Rodewald are the authors of the musical hit Passing Strange, which premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2006 and moved to Broadway in 2008. The piece earned seven Tony Award nominations, and Stew received the award for Best Book of a Musical.
Music direction of Family Album is by Stew and Dana Lyn, with choreography by David Neumann. Scenic design is by Andrew Lieberman (associate scenic designer Eric Southern), costumes by Tilly Grimes, lighting by Jane Cox, and sound design by ACME Sound Partners. Dramaturg on the project is Lue Morgan Douthit; voice and text director is David Carey; fight director is U. Jonathan Toppo and stage managers are Jeremy Eisen and M. William Shiner.
The cast features Luqman Brown as Heimvey, Casey Scott as Claudia, Christian Gibbs as Gibbs, Vinnie Sperrazza as Charles Andy, Alex Emanuel as Norman, Miriam A. Laube as Cleo, Lawrence Stallings as Paul, Daniel T. Parker as The Kid, Dana Lyn as Clara, and Marika Hughes as Kika.
Production Sponsor of the play is Edgerton Foundation New Play Awards, and Production Partners are The Hobbes Family and Michael and Leslie Schroeder.
Photo Courtesy: OSF