Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL, transports its sun-tanned audience to the wintry, rocky coast of Maine for a world premiere holiday-themed musical, Midnight Clear, opening Nov. 29. The work by librettist-lyricist-director Allen D. Cornell (who is also artistic director of the Equity troupe) and composer Ken Clifton is the first new musical in the 20-year history of Riverside. A new musical at his theatre has been a longtime goal of Cornell, who also designs the production. Performances continue to Dec. 16.
Cornell and Clifton created the original story, "about the power of love, the pain of war and the miracle of Christmas," according to a statement. Midnight Clear is set in a small coastal town in Maine, where two young lovers from two different worlds — Luke (Doug Landendorf) from the North and Constance (Kate Baldwin) from the South — are ripped apart by the Civil War. The score features 20 songs and 24 actors, including locals and imported New York talent. Patrick Boyd choreographs. Music director is Ken Clifton. Orchestrations are by Terry Winch.
The company includes Inga Ballard, Josh Ballas, Nicholas Barnes, Deborah Boily, Steven Brady, Abby Colella, Jill Defina, Christopher Donovan, Max Emerson, Konstance Kearley, Terry Loughlin, David Lutken, Mark Maxwell, Yvette McGregor, Brenda M. Mesley, Brennan Monaco, Aaron Michael Norris, Paul Romero, Ally Ryall, Jack Swanson, Evan Thompson, Cassondra Veneziano.
Tickets range $21-$32. Performances are 2 PM Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 PM Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For information, call (561) 231-6990 or (800) 445 6745.
Visit Riverside Theatre at www.riversidetheatre.com.
— By Kenneth Jones