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BWW Feature: Local Classic Repertory presents New Works: A Night of Musical Compositions by Adam LaPorte

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Local Classic Repertory presents an online cabaret. New Works features numbers from 3 award-winning musicals, 9 new songs, and 18 incredible musical theatre artists.

BWW Feature: Local Classic Repertory presents New Works: A Night of Musical Compositions by Adam LaPorte
Design by Melissa Campbell

Local Classic Repertory Theatre Company is an exciting new theatre company based in Pittsburgh, PA. While we've been without theatre for months, Local Classic Repertory is finding a way to work around the current restrictions, and they're gearing up for some exciting performances. New Works, A Night of Musical Compositions by Oklahoma City University graduate Adam LaPorte features songs from his award-winning musicals and nine new compositions. The cabaret also features a host of Oklahoma City affiliated artists. But you don't have to book a flight or travel to see the show. The cabaret is presented all online, September 10th - 13th, and audiences can look forward to seeing many familiar faces.

New Works features original tunes from LaPorte's three musicals - Rain Children, The Baseball Play, and June by the Sea, as well as several new songs making their debuts during the show.

Producing Artistic Director Emily Grace Smith is a proud alumnus of Oklahoma City University's School of Theatre. About the New Works cabaret, Smith says "I'm so excited for audiences to experience Adam's gorgeous and thoughtful music being brought to life by deeply talented singers from all across the country. In this time in history, it is even more challenging to meet new people, not to mention people who are willing to take chances on new things! I continue to marvel at how this all came together, when most of us have never met in person. I'm so privileged to be a part of making this real and to give these performers a platform to showcase Adam's music, as well as their own incredible talent!"

Adam LaPorte wrote all the songs for this night of music, and he was gracious enough to give Broadway World an exclusive interview about the show! Find out a bit more about the artist behind the upcoming cabaret below:

BWW: Tell us about the New Works show! What are you most excited for audiences to experience?

AL: New Works takes the "Adam LaPorte Songbook" and brings it from the page into vivid life via the talents of 18 incredible performers. The setlist really captures a wide range of my work and interests as a composer - some songs are intensely personal and emotional; others are campy numbers that really revolve around one joke. It's so exciting to be able to showcase the different types of songs that all fall under the banner of musical theatre. It's really thrilling, as a composer, to be able to play in different corners of my music making that don't always get accessed when I'm working on more traditionally narrative-driven shows.BWW Feature: Local Classic Repertory presents New Works: A Night of Musical Compositions by Adam LaPorte

I'm excited for people to experience the magic of musical theatre storytelling again. There's such a distinct way that music and lyrics tell a story, you're being stimulated intellectually and emotionally. It engages its audience on multiple levels and can create really impactful experiences. It's my hope that through watching New Works the audience remembers the singular powers of this medium.

BWW: Why do you think it's so important for theatres to adapt during this unprecedented time?

AL: New Works really came about from this central question of "How do you make a theatrical experience where everyone is alone, in their separate houses, essentially doing a self-tape? What does that look like and can you make that feel satisfying and engaging?" It's essentially a question of adaptability, which is insanely intimidating at first.

As a composer, you're used to working with a performer live in front of you. You're used to being able to collaborate and critique and address questions with real immediacy. When you translate that creative process to email and FaceTime, it slows down and transforms into a different animal. But it doesn't disappear, and that is such a crucial discovery. The art of collaboration is at the center of New Works, more so than it was with any of my previous shows. Each performance of the song is really rooted in the performers - their intimacy with the audience, their mastery of storytelling. Insomuch that they are performing alone in their own rooms, the duty of creating vivid stories, characters, and situations falls even more heavily on them but by entrusting them with this responsibility, so much incredible beauty comes through. The medium is different, yes, but the art of musical theatre story telling can still be showcased and advanced even if it manifests in ways that are initially unfamiliar. It is tricky, but a more than worthwhile endeavor.

BWW: What do these songs mean to you? Has this process been a labor of love?

AL: Oh gosh, it certainly has been. Through this project I've gotten to revamp a lot of old drafts and ideas that I had set aside. It was thrilling to see them come to life, but simultaneously stressful in trying to get ideas that had largely existed exclusively in my head down on paper. It's nerve wracking to send "untested" sheet music to a performer and hope they can somehow telepathically understand the energy and tone of the song. But time and time again, the performers nailed it.

There was such a generosity from both the performers and the producer, Emily Grace Smith. Everyone brought their A game to this project and entered with a ton of ideas and a willingness to pour their artistry into my songs, which is a dream come true for a composer. It is wild to think that I haven't met a majority of the people working on this project. There's a magic to it, to the mystery of watching sheet music go out and beautiful detailed performances appear in my inbox. To have my songs considered with such care and attention really touches me. I am very grateful.

BWW: What have you learned during this process and how will you take that with you in future projects?

AL: There have been a lot of times this year when artists have wondered: what is the point of creating right now? It can feel useless and disheartening, and at times extremely unimportant. I certainly have felt this way many times. Many days it is hard to get anything done, especially something creative. But through this weird and wonderful process of collaborating, we have found a way to make theatre when theatre was thought to be unmake-able. I fully understand that this is small potatoes, but it is important to remember that the artforms we love are not only going to make a comeback, they are accessible to us right here and right now. The only limit is our imaginations.

The cast includes Oklahoma City University alumni Sydney Rae Blosch, Melissa Campbell, Claire Greenberg, and Collin O'Neill. OU alumni featured in the show are Elvie Ellis, Tatum Grace, Keith Gruber, and J. Antonio Rodriguez. New (and soon to be favorites) to Oklahoma City audiences are Bella Coppola, Kris Ivy Haynes, Jana Jackson, Courtney Kofoed, Shaila Murdock, Jack B. Murphy, Ari Notartomaso, Evie Schuckman, Brianna Stoute, and Nina White.

The shows stream online September 10th - 12th at 7 PM CST and 1 PM CST on September 13th. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit Local Classic Repertory.

About Local Classic Repertory:

A female-founded theatre company, Local Classic Repertory brings people together to experience visual and performing arts. They produce new theatrical works by modern-day writers that entertains, challenges, and comforts audiences, offering an enriching and cultural experience. The vision of Local Classic Repertory is to champion diverse, equal representation in the dramatic arts, realizing that relevant, truly impactful art can only be achieved when our differences are both heard and recognized. Local Classic Repertory navigates the rapidly changing parameters around what theatre is by utilizing modern technology to make live theatre accessible to our audience regardless of external factor, acknowledging now more than ever, that humans need the connection and the cathartic experience that theatre provides.

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From This Author Adrienne Proctor