Their Story Goes On: Maltby & Shire Tunes Tell a New Tale in Dawning Show, A Time for Love, Feb. 6-15

News   Their Story Goes On: Maltby & Shire Tunes Tell a New Tale in Dawning Show, A Time for Love, Feb. 6-15
The work of Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire surfaces anew Feb. 6-15 in A Time for Love — a song cycle about the history of a couple — quietly playing at the tiny Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, New York.
Lois Robbins and Brian Sutherland
Lois Robbins and Brian Sutherland

Lois Robbins and Brian Sutherland sing songs by lyricist Maltby and composer Shire, including at least one new piece not heard before. Maltby and Shire are connected to the work, and may contribute new material to fill in the dramatic gaps, said Joel Silberman, the intimate show's director, musical director and arranger.

A Time for Love is so young and new that it's still finding its shape, Silberman told Playbill On-Line.

"As it grows, it tells us what it is as we go along," he said. "It's evolving. After a while the characters tell you who they are."

Silberman said it's currently a bookless, intermissionless show that explores the life of a relationship over many years, using video interviews with an older couple as a kind of frame.

"It's Maltby-Shire songs that have been in a lot of other pieces," Silberman explained. "There's a piece from Big, there's some Baby, some Closer Than Ever, some Starting Here, Starting Now, and some songs that have never been heard anywhere else." The show came out of a conversation between actress Robbins and lyricist-director Maltby, and then Maltby contacted Silberman, known for musical directing the annual Manhattan Theatre Club gala.

Silberman said there is hope A Time for Love will have a life of its own, like Maltby and Shire's popularly licensed Closer Than Ever and Starting Here, Starting Now, but the emphasis now is nurturing the piece far from the maddening crowd — which is why it's playing in Westchester County rather than midtown Manhattan.

Silberman observed that "the worst part of our business" is that developing shows get visited by people who want to encourage or discourage works when they are still tender. "If there is to be a good life for this in the future," it needs to be treated with care, he said.

Silberman directs, musical directs and arranges the songs, and plays on stage on a grand piano. His relationship with Maltby and Shire goes back to the 1980s, to when Closer Than Ever was known as Urban Blight.

Among songs currently in A Time for Love are "The Word Is Love," "The Story Goes On," "One of the Good Guys," "Life Story," "Stop Time," "And What If We Had Loved Like That," "I've Been Here Before"/"It's Never That Easy," "Another Wedding Song," "There" and more.

Lois Robbins is a film, TV and stage actress. Sutherland toured as Sky Masterson in the 50th anniversary Arena Stage production of Guys and Dolls.

Performances of A Time for Love play The Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, north of Manhattan, Feb. 6-8 and Feb. 12-15. For reservations, call (914) 277- 8477.

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