Country Meets Weimar Cabaret in Blue Flower, Musical Tale of Artists and Lovers, Opening Nov. 9

News   Country Meets Weimar Cabaret in Blue Flower, Musical Tale of Artists and Lovers, Opening Nov. 9
 
The Blue Flower, the new image-and-movement-rich musical about artists and thinkers in the first part of the 20th century, opens Off-Broadway Nov. 9 following previews that began Oct. 14 at Off-Broadway's Second Stage Theatre. Marc Kudisch is the haunted painter/collage maker in the middle of the swirl of action about the beginning of the modern world.

Sebastian Arcelus
Sebastian Arcelus Photo by Ari Mintz

Written by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer, with choreography by Chase Brock and direction by Will Pomerantz, the multimedia show plays Second Stage's home on West 43rd Street. Pomerantz directed the work when it was seen at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, in 2010. The piece was previously presented in a developmental run by the Prospect Theatre Company in New York in 2008.

"Spanning two continents and half a century, The Blue Flower explores the romantic and tumultuous relationships between four young friends — three artists and a scientist — as they create a world of art, revolution, and passion amidst the turbulence and destruction of the World Wars," according to Second Stage.

The earlier A.R.T. production was described at the time as a fusion of Weimar cabaret and country-western music inspired by the historical figures Max Beckmann, Franz Marc, Hannah Hoech and Marie Curie. 

The full cast at Second Stage includes Sebastian Arcelus (Elf, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Happiness) as Franz, Kudisch (a three-time Tony Award nominee for 9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Max, Meghan McGeary (The Blue Flower at A.R.T.) as Hannah, Joseph Medeiros (Irving Berlin's White Christmas), Julia Osborne (national tour of South Pacific), Graham Rowat (Guys and Dolls, LoveMusik, Beauty and the Beast, Barrington's The Game) as the mysterious Mr. O, Aaron Serotsky (August: Osage County) and Teal Wicks (Elphaba in Wicked) as "Maria."

Read the recent Playbill magazine feature about The Blue Flower. In it, Ruth Bauer said, "We're really inspired by the golden age of German Expressionistic film and silent film." Any aspect of the theatrical experience can be used to telegraph the story to the audience, the Bauers said. "For us, 'writing' might be thinking about what image could communicate the emotions of the piece, or whether the music should carry the story here," according to Ruth.

Teal Wicks
photo by Ari Mintz

The project began in 1999 when Jim Bauer's exploration of the music of Germany's Weimar Era coincided with his interest in country music.

The Blue Flower features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt (who created a wood-scaffold affair that suggests the very bones and construction of the modern era); costume design by Ann Hould-Ward; lighting design by Donald Holder; sound design by Dan Moses Schreier; and projection design/film supervision by Aaron Rhyne. The musical director is Dominick Amendum. Orchestrations are by Jim Bauer. Films are by Jim Bauer and Ruth Bauer. Writer/composer/lyricist Jim Bauer earned a Bachelor's degree in music composition and theory at Haverford College, where he was mentored by composers Harold Boatrite and John Davison. He has composed and produced music scores for film and television while performing as singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist in a variety of bands he periodically assembles. With his collaboration called Dagmar, his current project with singing partner Meghan McGeary, he performs in the New York City subways under the Music Under New York (MUNY) banner and on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. Dagmar recently released its third CD, "Door No. 3." He received the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award in 2004, with his wife Ruth Bauer, for their work on The Blue Flower.

Co-writer/visual artist/videographer Ruth Bauer is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Her oil paintings, watercolors, collages and monotypes have been shown in group exhibits in museums including Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, The Hudson River Museum, The Tuscon Museum of Art, The DeCordova Museum, The Brockton Museum and the Rose Art Museum, and in solo exhibitions in galleries across the United States. Her work is included in notable private and public collections.

The limited engagement plays to Nov. 27 on the following schedule: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

For tickets or more information, visit www.2ST.com.

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