World premiere concert musical based on the music of legendary songwriter Joe Jackson, at Richmond Triangle Players August 8-18, 2012.
This summer, Richmond, Virginia will see the world premiere production of the concert musical Joe Jackson's Night and Day, with music and lyrics drawn from Jackson's two New York City-themed albums, the classic Night and Day (1982) and its acclaimed follow-up, Night and Day II (2000).
Richmond Triangle Players' beautiful new theater will serve as host for the show, a mix of theatrical and concert elements developed by director/musician Andrew Hamm. A live onstage band will back five of Richmond's best singers for some of the greatest songs of Joe Jackson's storied career, including "Another World," "Real Men," "Stranger than You," "Glamour and Pain," the hit single "Breaking Us in Two," and the classic "Steppin' Out." The show is scheduled for eight performances from August 8-18, 2012.
We are attempting to raise approximately 50% of the production budget via Kickstarter, and the remaining 50% through house parties in Central Virginia. The eventual goal is to take most or all of the premiere production to theatre festivals in 2013. Help fund the show in 2012 and we might be able to bring it to your part of the world in 2013!
CDs or DVDs of the show will not be available at this time, either as a Kickstarter reward or for sale. However, your contribution to this regional level of the production may enable larger-scale productions in bigger markets, which would likely result in a cast album.
The seed for JJND came when I saw Joe live on the Night and Day II
tour in 2000. I had the opportunity to see the band twice, early on in
Boston and then for the final performance of the tour in, appropriately,
New York City. Aside from the fact that these were the best-performed
concerts I had ever seen, something about the way they were staged
catalyzed a lot of my ideas about the role of theatricality in live
music. Joe has always used a few theatrical elements in his shows, and
the 2000 tour was the most dramatic of his career: musicians made
dramatic entrances and exits to emphasize musical elements, empty road
cases served as scenic elements, one musician made a costume change
during the intermission to play a drag king, and the show was even
structured into a rough two-act format.
I spent the entire drive home brainstorming about the various characters and situations in the music from the two albums. More than the first album, Night and Day II is loaded with very specific characters and situations. Could multiple songs be sung by the same "character," creating a story arc? Could some of the songs be structured into duets, trios, and ensemble pieces? What would the younger sister from "Dear Mom" be like singing part of "Real Men," and what's the connection between the latter song and the transvestite prostitute from "Glamour and Pain"? How is the paranoia of "Target" like that of "Just Because," and could "Cancer" and "Chinatown" come from the same mouth?
There was another, more personal element to the story. While Joe was living downtown in 1998-99 writing songs about his turn-of-the-millenium Manhattan experience, I was living way uptown at 204th Street writing the music that would later become Strange Education, my own New York experience album. As a result, when I looked at Joe's music, I saw a reflection of my own triumphs and troubles in trying to create an iconic musical representation of the city. Joe, of course, actually hit gold with his; "Steppin' Out" is about as perfect a Manhattan song as you will ever hear, and over his career he has performed it as a ballad, a piano solo, lounge music, and in its original uptempo form. Like New York City itself, the iconic song has a multitude of faces, every one equally true and equally incomplete.
So Joe Jackson's Night and Day was structured as a songwriter's struggle to create the perfect New York City song, and of the people, places, stories, and questions that inspire him on his search. From the abrasiveness of "Hell of a Town" to the touristy excitement of "Another World," from the lost love of "Breaking Us in To" to the abandonment of "Love Got Lost," from the despair of "A Slow Song" to the bittersweet triumph of "Happyland," JJND is about both music and music's very creation, as seen through the lens of an artist striving to express his world with an honest voice. It's about the impossibly broad spectrum of peoples who call themselves New Yorkers, residents of a town "where there's always somebody stranger than you." But mostly it's about the best damn bunch of songs I've ever heard played by the best band I've ever shared a stage with.
I'm incredibly grateful to Richmond Triangle Players, especially artistic director John Knapp and managing director Phil Crosby, for having faith in the vision of the show and making their space available. Stacie Rearden Hall, a dear friend and longtime collaborator, will be serving as associate director, providing a much-needed outside eye and fresh ideas. I produced a well-received workshop of the show in 2004, and drummer Adam Young and bassist Philip Hamm are returning to the show this year, joined by percussionist Jake Allard and violinist Seamus Guy. Our five singers are among Central Virginia's best performers: Augustin Correro, Keydron Dunn, Rebecca Muehlman, Anne Carr Regan, and Liz Blake White.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the enormous boost the show has received from Mr. Jackson's camp. Mike Maska, Joe's manager at Big Hassle Management, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the project since 2003, and has helped move permissions and rights along with, well, very little hassle. Sean Melia and Tresa Hardin at Sony/ATV Publishing have also made things very easy. I'm enormously grateful.
Please contact me if you're interested in helping to make Joe Jackson's Night and Day possible by bringing live music into your home.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $3,000 goal
seconds to go
Jun 13, 2012 - Jul 13, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
A shout-out on the "Joe Jackson's Night and Day" website and on Andrew J Hamm's Twitter feed (@AndrewJHamm).Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $25 or more
12 backers Limited (38 of 50 left)
A copy of the "Joe Jackson’s Night and Day" program, signed by the cast and crew.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $50 or more
11 backers Limited (9 of 20 left)
A copy of the "Joe Jackson’s Night and Day" poster, signed by the cast and crew.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $75 or more
0 backers Limited (20 of 20 left)
A show-used chord chart or piece of sheet music with notes and coffee stains intact!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $100 or more
2 backers Limited (8 of 10 left)
A piece of show-used memorabilia such as a drumstick, a costume piece, or a prop, with a hand-written description of what the piece’s story is and a photo of it in use in the show.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $150 or more
A printed copy of the "Joe Jackson's Night and Day" libretto, signed by director/producer Andrew Hamm with a personal note of thanks!Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
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0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
An invitation to virtually attend a rehearsal, via Skype or FaceTime.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $350 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Director/Producer Andrew J Hamm will record a cover version of the song of your choice (within reason), available as a high-quality digital copy and CD.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $500 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
A live video Q&A with members of the cast and crew via Skype or FaceTime.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Director/Producer Andrew Hamm will perform a live piano concert in your home! You must be within approximately five hours’ drive of Richmond, Virginia or be willing to provide transportation to your location. Overnight accommodations may also be required.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012