The crazy-carousel world of French songwriter Jacques Brel will be conjured anew in Manhattan in a unique cabaret produced by the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, at its Manhattan space, Dec. 6-9.
The NTWH Cabaret performs year-round across the country and internationally. The 2000 Cabaret focuses on the work of Brel, who was made internationally famous in the revue, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living and Paris.
NTWH founder Brother Rick Curry directs a cast of seven, made up of able bodied and disabled performers who sing Brel's plaintive, haunting songs that touch on issues of love, happiness, birth, mortality and hope. Musical direction and arrangements are by John Spalla, who serves as pianist.
Tickets are $5-$15. The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped (NTWH) Theatre is at 148 Elizabeth Street in Manhattan. An extension beyond Dec. 9 is expected. For more information or reservations, call (212) 941-9511 or visit the website at www.ntwh.org.
Curry founded the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped in 1977 as a training, production and advocacy organization serving persons with disabilities who have an interest in the performing arts. The school is a non-profit organization with campuses in New York City and Belfast, ME. NTWH advocates for persons with disabilities in the theatre and offers a forum for dramatic literature on themes of disability.
The school challenges the exclusion of disabled student from existing theatre programs by offering both academic and practical programs. In addition to offering professional academic instruction in acting, oral interpretation, music, movement, dance, playwriting, theatre management and technical theatre, NTWH teaches students how to present themselves off-stage — communication skills that students master as actors are applicable in the workplace.
Profits from a breadmaking operation in Maine — where disabled folks learn the art of breadmaking — supports the theatre's programs, as does Curry's popular cookbook, "Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking."
— By Kenneth Jones