Now & Then Creative Company Continues Their 3rd Season of Workshops with HIT MUSIC
Now & Then Creative Company continues their 3rd season of successful workshops by Arizona writers with HIT MUSIC - - book + lyrics by Guillermo Reyes, music by Carlos Urtubey - - a heart warming, foot stomping, and unpredictable new musical from one of the Valley's finest writers. "Guillermo is a local favorite with national recognition," says Artistic Director John Perovich. "His writing is simultaneously endearing and hilarious - - sometimes heart breaking. With HIT MUSIC, Reyes ventures into the world of musical theatre and has given us an entire family to enjoy as they navigate the difficulties of growing older with the threats of growing apart."
The premise of HIT MUSIC teases its entertaining situation: The eccentric father in a Latino-Italian American family in 1990s Los Angeles announces his imminent death which brings together his children and a beloved niece to stage a commemorative concert - - but everything gets derailed by twists of fate, a romance, a heartbreak and lots of funky singing in English, Italian and Spanish.
Now & Then is committed to developing the work of Arizona writers and provides opportunities to intensely focus on the development of a work on the page for its future life on the stage. "The plot points have varied some, but the basic element of the relationships has been fairly constant," shares writer Guillermo Reyes. "What types of songs do the characters sing and how do they express themselves? That was the question that we've been asking from the beginning. But since the new generation of kids demanded their own songs, I had to delve into pop music, rock 'n roll and rap, to express the younger characters' needs to have their own music. But then, when we had to write original Italian songs, we had to get into the mind of the father who was brought up in the 50s and 60s, and I would then try to express some aspect of that period - - songs by Domenico Modugno, Nada, Massimo Ranieri, Mina, Patty Pravo and a few other Italian singers - - served as an inspiration for those songs. A Caribbean, tropical sound emerged in 'Ecco la Ragazza,' which creates a fusion of sounds - - and this is a blended family, anyway - - they run an Italian-Peruvian restaurant, so their music and their cuisine is fusion."
HIT MUSIC will be presented at Now & Then as a workshop production - - there will be staging, live music, limited design elements, and the cast will be on book. Reyes shares that one of his goals for the workshop is to "take joy in the creation of new songs and to celebrate an aspect of these characters' lives. The play is a form of commemoration for those lost. There is tremendous loss in these characters' lives," continues Reyes, "and I think the music helps them (and us - - the audience) make that transition into acceptance of what's been lost."
Audiences are invited to attend this exciting and unique event. HIT MUSIC runs 1/31, 2/1, 2/7, and 2/8 at 7PM - - 2/9 at 2PM. The musical workshop features performances by Esther Almazan, Cameron Bloom, Julian Martinez, Karla Benitez Orellana, Jesse Saywell, and Carlos Urtubey, and is directed by Guillermo Reyes. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door and online at www.nowandthencc.com.
Now & Then Creative Company performs in the theatre at Metropolitan Arts Institute, 1700 N. 7th. Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85007. Parking is available in the lower level of the building.