Last Romeo: The Ballad of Jeanie and Charlie, the one man musical by Sean McCourt (Titanic), will fill Off-Broadway's Theatre 3 on Woody Guthrie's American Song's off nights, Dec. 14-29.
Performed by McCourt, Last Romeo charts the progression of love between two best friends: Jeanie, a lifeguard at Metro-beach, and Charlie, a mall employee and graffiti artist whose graphic specialty is stick figures sketched on dirty cars.
Last Romeo began life as a series of concerts six years ago. "I was looking for a way to link my songs together, so I began writing letters that set up the songs," McCourt told Playbill On-Line. As a story evolved, he held a reading at CB's Gallery which then led to a week of Last Romeo at Playwrights Horizons.
This year, Joe Brancato (also the show's director) of Stony Point's Penguin Rep approached McCourt about reworking Last Romeo as a one-man show. That resulted in a month-long run in April at Penguin Rep. The Melting Pot's Last Romeo will resemble most the piece McCourt describes as "a one hour, one-man folk/jazz/blues musical" performed in October at the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck, NY.
The show requires him to handle three instruments (guitar, bass and harmonica) as well as several different characters. Still, he's used to it - "It's a lot like my job in Titanic, except I don't have to change my clothes 12 times," he said. McCourt, currently starring as Woody Guthrie in Woody Guthrie's American Song, most recently appeared on Broadway in Titanic. Off-Broadway credits include Yiddle With a Fiddle, The Portable Pioneer, Radio Gals and Honky Tonk Highway. Ten Years Apart a play with music co-authored with fellow Titanic cast member Matthew Bennett, will premiere April, 1999 at the Cincinnati Playhouse's Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre.
"Stick Figure Dancing", a CD compilation of McCourt's songs, can be purchased at Colony Records. The CD features several songs from Last Romeo including "Jeanie and Charlie," "4 AM," "Second Second Chance," "Last Romeo" and "Red Wine and Nostalgia."
For reservations, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200. Tickets are $20 ($15 for Melting Pot members), cash at the door only. The Melting Pot 's Theatre 3 is located at 311 West 43rd Street.
-- By Christine Ehren