Kelly Colleen McMahon's THE FAITHFULL, Feat. Music of Pearl Jam, Debuts at Benaroya Hall Tonight
In the most electrifying theater event to hit Seattle since Rock of Ages, writer/director Kelly Colleen McMahon presents the sensational new "rock-u-drama", The Faithfull. Inspired by the music of city legends Pearl Jam, and featuring a live stage band, The Faithfull offers a new slant on the conventional rock-musical, putting the fan experience at center stage. The special one-night-only event takes place tonight, December 5 at Benaroya Hall.
The stories of six thirty-something friends are told through the music of their favorite band. Pearl Jam songs - played by on-stage musicians, and sung by the actors - are woven through each scene, illustrating how the band's 20-year catalog has provided a powerful soundtrack for the lives of those who have grown up with them. But while the characters are long-time Pearl Jam devotees, and the fan community provides the backdrop for the story, The Faithfull will resonate with anyone who has continued to love the music of their youth or ever heard just the right song at just the right time.
"The characters and their stories are based on friends, fans and other people I've met who share what is the relatively new characteristic of making significant decisions around the age of thirty that completely change the course of their lives," McMahon says. "While the experience of being a Pearl Jam fan, and the facets of our community, are a strong element in the play, I believe anyone will be able to identify with these people."
The play has been in development for over three years, having been awarded a residency at the University of Chicago in the summer of 2011, and receiving a workshop production in Seattle a year ago. The December 5 premiere coincides with Pearl Jam's concert the following evening, and the venue is especially appropriate, as the band played Benaroya Hall themselves in 2003.
The Faithfull's Seattle debut is also a benefit for The Jennifer Jaff Center (formerly Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness). Mike McCready, and his wife Ashley, are long-time supporters of the organization and have helped it grow through numerous fundraisers and benefit concerts. In 2006, Pearl Jam's concert at the Meadows Amphitheater in Connecticut raised over $20,000 for the organization.
"The Faithfull is meant to be an homage to the special place Pearl Jam's music has had in the lives of their fans," McMahon says. "To me, there was no better way to acknowledge this unique connection than by allowing our story to benefit a group that is one of the band's dearest charities and has meant so much to them and fans alike." McMahon's goal is to have the bulk of the ticket and merchandise sales go to The Jennifer Jaff Center, and she's working to raise the production costs through fundraising campaign through Fractured Atlas. For more information on how to donate go to http://thefaithfullplay.com/the-fundraising-campaign.
Tickets for The Faithfull are on sale now through Benaroya Hall (206.215.4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org/benaroya). More information about the play and its Seattle premiere at www.thefaithfullplay.com.