There is a new musical bursting out of the Chicago cabaret scene. Conceptualized by Chicago's favorite French chanteuse Claudia Hommel, the play with music will have its first staged readings on Monday, August 2nd and Tuesday the 3rd, 7:30 PM, at the Theatre Building (1225 W. Belmont, Chicago 60657).
Welcome to SUMMER ON THE SEINE--the new 1880s jazz musical with songs by Gabriel Fauré.
Gabriel Fauré was inspired by the Parisian salon, painters and poets of his time (1870s until 1920), and sometimes by his own heartbreaks and joys. His music is full of color, light, spontaneous gestures, and harmonic progressions which we now call jazz. His songs were first arranged for 2 voices and jazz combo for the 2006 Jazz Fauré Project album by Chicago's Dennis Luxion, Bobby Schiff, Claudia Hommel and Sean Harris.
Amanda Hartley wrote the book based on characters in Auguste Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Like the painting, our story takes place on the banks of the Seine in the 1880s. The whole gang is together; a group of artists, musicians, patrons, workers and friends are being painted by René. Can he capture the moment? Can the Fournier family inn maintain its idyllic waters while society all around is being throttled by the industrial revolution? Will the railroad take over their land in the name of progress? Should Paula the innkeeper’s daughter run off to New York with Gabe the composer? A young seamstress Lydia hopes to capture the artist's heart (she is holding a flute; does she know how to play it?) or will Johnny the singing idol ravish her heart instead?
Amanda Hartley has been assisted by Deborah Ann Percy. More songs are being arranged by Bobby Schiff while the French lyrics are adapted into English by Arnold Johnston.
Two staged readings are being hosted by the Theatre Building of Chicago on August 2 and 3, 2010. With music direction by Elizabeth Doyle and stage direction by Lara Filip, a powerhouse of actors are lending their voices and personalities, many of whom appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. We'll have Johnny Rogers, John Eskola, Nathan Johnson, Johanna McKenzie Miller, Cory Goodrich, Ann McCann and many others. Our combo of jazz musicians Jim Cox, Tim Davis, Tim McNamara and Bobby Schiff is there to underscore the quandaries, the first loves, the fights and the longings with blues, ballads, bossa novas, and swing tunes, all written by Gabriel Fauré.
We are raising funds to cover theatre rental; modest stipends to our large cast, production crew, musicians and projected-images designer; printing of posters, scripts, scores, and thank you gifts; and airfare to bring Johnny Rodgers in from New York! He'll play "Johnny Menard" the pop idol and he is one! Visit www.johnnyrodgers.com to get a taste of that piece of excitement.
This Kickstarter campaign represents about one fourth of the total funds we need to raise. Our total budget is over $6000. We invite you to make larger tax-deductible donations directly to the Theatre Building (a non-profit association) earmarked for the Jazz Fauré Theatre Project. For more details, visit www.jazzfaure.com, send a message or call 773-509-9360.
Come this “Summer on the Seine”, and let's see where it leads us.
MERCI MILLE FOIS !
- (39 days)