The New Jersey Repertory Company is developing a new conceptual theatrical concert for folk singer Christine Lavin, whose humane and comic songs have earned her a following around the world.
NJ Rep artistic director SuzAnne Barabas is directing the new theatrical presentation of Lavin's songs in a solo show called Getting in Touch With My Inner Bitch, Aug. 9-Sept. 2 at the troupe's intimate venue in Long Branch, NJ.
Barabas admits she was a newcomer to Lavin's quirky, touching guitar-accompanied work when she was invited by Poetry in Motion, which represents Lavin, to see a concert in New York in 2000. The director felt there was room for Lavin to stretch in an intimate long-run setting. She invited Lavin down to the Jersey shore.
"She just blew me away," Barabas told Playbill On-Line. "She was already so theatrical and it was a concert. Her story songs are all true stories and they are just charming."
Perhaps best known for "Sensitive New Age Guys," Lavin will mix old songs and new in Inner Bitch. The provocative title is drawn from a song, and does not represent any greater theme, Barabas said. Like any theatrical venture at NJ Rep, a nonprofit that focuses mainly on new works, the Lavin show has lights, a set and makeup. Lavin's songs are based on her life and the lives of people she meets, and the atmosphere will be about Lavin learning from the audience and the audience learning from Lavin, Barabas explained.
Lavin has over a dozen albums to her credit. She'll invite guest star pals into the show during the run. Cameo appearances in the run may include Julie Gold, Red Grammar, Tina Lear, Dave's True Story and Ervin Drake.
The set is by Julia Hahn and lighting is by Kirk Bookman. The New Jersey Repertory Company is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the association of professional theatres of New Jersey, the Monmouth County Arts Council and Theatre Communications Group.
Inner Bitch will be performed 8 PM Thursdays- Saturdays and 2 PM Sundays. Tickets are $25. For information, call (732) 229-3166 or visit www.njrep.org.
— By Kenneth Jones