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THE SOUL OF GERSHWIN: THE MUSICAL JOURNEY OF AN AMERICAN KLEZMER Returns to Park Square Theatre

Park Square continues its 42nd season on the Proscenium Stage with the return of audience favorite The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer, created and written by Joseph Vass who also serves as musical director. This soulful play takes audiences back to early 1900s New York City - a creative melding of different cultures that created our distinctive American Songbook. George Gershwin himself is joined by three stunning singers and a fantastic band as he reveals the folk songs, blues, jazz, Yiddish theatre, cantor chants, and opera that fused into such timeless works as I Got Rhythm and Embraceable You.

George Gershwin as narrator and storyteller takes audiences on a compelling musical journey that transports them back to his world: New York City in a burgeoning new century bustling with diverse cultural influences and seemingly disparate musical genres - Yiddish theater and Jewish liturgical melodies, early pop, folk, blues, jazz, and opera - all serendipitously at hand to stoke his musical genius.

In recent decades, multiple historians of Jewish and theatre history (and a PBS "Great Performances" documentary) have documented the influence of Jewish and Yiddish culture on the development of Broadway musicals. In their music Leonard Bernstein, Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, and Stephen Schwartz have all demonstrated the Jewish and Yiddish influences on the Broadway musical. But only The Soul of Gershwin brings those connections to life so vibrantly. George Gershwin is arguably the quintessential American composer, as his works, from Porgy & Bess to Crazy for You, from Rhapsody in Blue to Someone to Watch over Me, from Of Thee I Sing to An American in Paris capture a wide range of American experience.

The Soul of Gershwin features Maggie Burton, Maud Hixson, Geoffrey Jones, and Michael Paul Levin.* The production team for includes Dean Holzman (Set Designer), Michael P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), Jason Resler (Costume Designer), and Jacob M. Davis (Sound Designer).

The Soul of Gershwin Performance Schedule: Previews begin Friday, December 2, and continue through Thursday, December 8. December 9 is Opening Night, and the run continues through December 31. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. except for Saturday and Sunday matinees, which begin at 2 p.m. All performances are on the company's Proscenium Stage in Saint Paul's historic Hamm Building, 20 W. Seventh Place.

Ticket prices: Previews: $27 and $37. Regular Run: $40 and $60. Discounts are available for seniors, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or online at www.parksquaretheatre.org.

Next on the Proscenium Stage

FLOWER DRUM SONG

Music by Richard Rodgers; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by David Henry Hwang

Directed by Randy Reyes

Co-production with MU PERFORMING ARTS

Previews: January 20-26, 2017

Opening Night: January 27, 2017

Regular Run: through February 19, 2017

Proscenium Stage

Set in San Francisco's Chinatown in the late fifties, Flower Drum Song is a funny and moving story which explores what it means to be an American and touches the history of every person whose forbearers once arrived as strangers to these shores. The new, fully revised version includes David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-nominated text.

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org


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