50th Anniversary Concert Production of Al Carmines' CHRISTMAS RAPPINGS is Coming to Judson Memorial Church
Christmas Rappings is back in a very special 50th Anniversary concert production of this beloved Greenwich Village tradition-a Christmas oratorio unlike any other. When Al Carmines introduced audiences to Rappings on December 14, 1969, they had come to expect the surprising range and inventiveness of this multiple Obie-award winner, but perhaps not an evening that faithfully tells the Christmas story through such a high-spirited, often funny, collision of musical genres, from country to classical to blues to gospel, and even with a rousing tango. Performed by a cast of 50-including soloists, chorus, pianist, and a belly dancer-the creative team includes Henco Espag (Musical Director & Conductor), Kelly O'Donnell (Director), Lisette Glodowski (Choreographer), Thom Fogarty (Annunciation Choreographer), Chip Prince (Pianist), Jared Goldstein (Production Stage Manager), Anna Fearheiley (Stage Manager), Hannah Holden (Publicity), Ted Dawson Studio (Graphic Design), Thomas Strickland (Liaison), and previous Director for past performances, Russell Treyz (Consultant). Producers are Scott Munson, Mark Perry, and Abigail Hastings through Judson Arts.
We're pleased that original cast members Essie Borden, Lee Guilliatt, and Craig Kuehl will return to sing in this 50th Anniversary performance. With a retrospective display, we'll be honoring the pioneering spirit of Al Carmines, described in the New York Times as one who "marshaled his gifts as a showman, composer, singer and actor to turn the sanctuary of a Greenwich Village church into a riveting avant-garde stage that helped start the Off Off Broadway revolt against mainstream theater in the 1960's."
Cast: Rick Alessa, Roy Atwood, Dane Berman, Christine Binder, Sarah Blaze, Essie Borden, Richard Bull, T.J. Burkett, Sarah Nelson Craft, Julie Dafydd, Mere Davis, Ted Dawson, Alexandra de Suze, Suzanne Dickerson, Erin Evers, Lulu Fogarty, Thom Fogarty, Paul Fraccalvieri, Lisette Glodowski, Nicholas Gottlieb, Martha Gotwals, Lee Guilliatt, Jason Hart, Martha-Emily Harvel, Marnee Hollis, Kristin Keating, Sam Kinsman, Susan Kirby, Kimberly Larkin, Ryan S. Lowe, Craig Kuehl, Robert Lydiard, Marion Markham, Robin Manning, Christian Mansfield, Marilyn Matarrese, Christopher Michael McLamb, Peggy McNamara, Scott Munson, Eric Oliver, Kurt Perry, Mark Perry, Leila Rinehart, Jenny Selig, Bill Smith, JessAnn Smith, Megan Thomas, Reggie Whitehead, Amanda Yachechak, Elisabeth Zimmerman
From 1962 to 1981, Al Carmines, composer/lyricist/ playwright, wrote over 40 productions for Judson Poets' Theater, which he founded. He had seven musicals move to commercial off-Broadway runs, and won four Obies, including the first Obie for Sustained Achievement. Carmines was among the first to write about gay relationships, notably with The Faggot (1973). Promenade (1965), written with the legendary María Irene Fornés, was a commercial success and this past summer had an acclaimed revival at New York City Center.
In his tribute to Carmines, Village Voice critic Michael Feingold recalled past Christmas Rappings he had attended. "As performed by Carmines himself at the piano," he wrote, "it was a yearly source of ineffable joy."
For years an annual event, Christmas Rappings is now performed every few years, resulting in packed houses of devoted audiences who eagerly await this unique and very "downtown" show to bring in the holiday season.
Friday, December 6 at 8 pm
Saturday, December 7 at 8 pm
Judson Church at 55 Washington Square South
Tickets: $25 general admission / $50 premium seating
For tickets: ChristmasRappings2019.brownpapertickets.com