60's Folk Comes to Philly Fringe
Protests, prevaricating politicians, pandemonium -- 2019 echoes the turmoil of the 1960's, so it seems an appropriate time to resurrect some of the great songs of the era. Vagabond Productions presents Kate Loitz in 60's FOLK Revisited, with guitarist Lenny Ranallo, on the roof deck of the Davison Apartments in Center City.
After a career of theater and cabaret focused on the Great American Songbook, Kate returns to the music of her teens. "My last show was 30's and 40's movie music. Fun, but light. With so much chaos in our politics, this music called to me again, insisting that I voice it once more. It's remarkable how these songs resonate today." Malvina Reynolds' celebration of protest, It Isn't Nice, has this line: "When you deal with men of ice/You can't deal with ways so nice." Change "ice" to "ICE" and you have a direct comment on current immigration issues.
In addition to protest, Loitz touches on other issues of the 60's, including "women's lib" and, of course, the anti-war movement. All of this is leavened with some humor and a few sing-alongs. The dramatic roof-top setting overlooking Center City creates a unique setting for this passionate, joyful music.
Loitz, an Equity actor, received the BackStage Bistro Award in 2006 as outstanding cabaret vocalist for her Harry Warren show Hot Ginger and Dynamite. In his review of that performance, David Finkle of BackStage asked, "Where has she been all of our lives?" She has performed her one-woman shows in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and other cities around the country. As a new resident of Philadelphia, this will be her first show for a Pennsylvania audience.
Accompanying Loitz will be prize-winning guitarist Lenny Ranallo, a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory. He prides himself on his fluency in a multitude of styles and genres. He has appeared as a featured young artist in festivals in Italy and Scotland, and has won prizes in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Young Musicians Scholarship Competition, the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Competition and the James Stroud All-Ohio Competition. He currently runs a private teaching studio and works as a freelance guitarist.
In last year's Fringe Festival, Loitz appeared in B. Franklin:Words Matter, a one-act play written by her husband, Albert Sherman. Sherman plays Ben Franklin at the end of his life. Loitz is his daughter Sally Bache, who helps her father reminisce by embodying the family members and historical figures he talks about, including his father and wife, John Adams, Louis XVI and Joseph Priestley.