THE SPEED OF SOUND is Coming to Theater for the New City

Running Dec. 21-Jan. 7 at Theater for the New City

By: Dec. 08, 2023

THE SPEED OF SOUND is Coming to Theater for the New City

 Just days after fans at Strawberry Fields, in Central Park, gathered to mark the anniversary of John Lennon's death and commemorate his life and music, a new musical about street musicians who meet at Strawberry Fields is set to open.

The Speed of Sound, a new musical about two out-of-town musicians who meet at Strawberry Fields, brings great music and a moving story to the stage at Theater for the New City.

The musicians, who each play in Strawberry Fields, begin to play music together in this new musical with songs by Mike Borgia that follows the lives of musicians who move to New York City..

The book by Claude Solnik provides characters, clashes and plot with direction by Robert Liebowitz that makes it all come together.

Kirstin Wolf plays Claire and Henry Vincent plays Nick, the two musicians who connect and now and then collide. Camila Maric plays Claire's friend Beth and Charles Meckley plays Ostrow, a music executive.

"Strawberry Fields is a memorial to John Lennon and a sort of sanctuary for music," Solnik, who wrote the book, said. "This musical follows people who go there to play and what happens after a chance encounter unites them."

The Speed of Sound runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 7 at TNC's Cino Theater with shows Thurs. to Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 3 p.m. There are no performances on Christmas day and New Year's eve. TNC, a nonprofit, is selling tickets for $18 and $15 for students, seniors and veterans for this one-hour-and-20-minute show. There are no performances on Christmas day and New Year's eve.

Joanna Newman is assistant director, Marsh Shugart is lighting and sound designer and Allison Lau is set designer.

"It is the age-old question: Can one have a life in the arts and at the same time enjoy what people commonly refer to as 'a normal life?'" Liebowitz, the director, asked. "The Speed of Sound, Claude Solnik's latest entry at TNC, tries to answer this question, through the prism of two out of town musicians, Claire and Nick, as they navigate the hopeful but treacherous waters of the New York City musical landscape."

Mike Borgia provides realistic, heartfelt songs with lyrics and music that fit on stage and radio and in concerts. The result is a rock musical with music strong enough to stand on its own as well as telling a story.

"I think the script has a good story and characters," Solnik, playwright in residence at Theater for the New City, said. "Mike's music, though, lifts it all to another level."

In this show without an intermission, we see how struggle and success impact musicians new to New York City, drawing them closer together and, sometimes, pushing them apart. Borgia's songs, performed by Kirstin Wolf and Henry Vincent, both provide a showcase for these perfomrers and Borgia's music and a window into characters' thoughts and lives.

In a traditional musical, characters and story glide in and out of song and dance as we suspend disbelief, but in The Speed of Sound we watch the characters create and perform songs, singing for and to each other and otherwise performing in a realistic way.

"The characters don't separate from their world to sing and then return to it," Solnik said. "They are singing in their world and not suddenly submerged in the fantasy of a musical."

Borgia, an Italian American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from New York City, writes songs with unique melodic structures, floating between genres such as blues, alternative rock and indie.

His music is a captivating example of musicianship that translates into a mesmerizing and dynamic live experience.

He has described himself as "defiant of labels or the desire to fit in," traits that result in a remarkable score with heartfelt lyrics and memorable melodies.

Robert Liebowitz is an experienced director and playwright who recently directed "A Stitch in Time," also at TNC, with book by Claude Solnik and music by Gary Edwards.

Kirstin Wolf, a frequent performer at Don't Tell Mama's Drama at Mama cabaret series, recently appeared as Princess Anneliese in The Unauthorized, Unofficial Film to Stage Adaptation of Barbie's The Princess and the Pauper. Henry Vincent recently appeared in Oceanborn: A New Musical at the Rave Theater Festival at Teatro SEA.

The Speed of Sound, Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., (9th-10th Sts), NY, NY, Dec. 21-Jan. 7, Thurs.-Sat. at 8, Sun. at 3, 212-254-1109, www.theaterforthenewcity.net

 




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