By Bob Evans
Get ready to explore the early 1950s and the struggle to find local support for the Arts–in this case the beginnings of the Kansas City Philharmonic–in a brand new musical, “Overture” that debuts at the Arts Asylum for the 2018 KC Fringe Festival
Two local playwrights, Krista Eyler and Barbara Nichols collaborated to create this musical that will tease audiences with an edited version of its first act in the Fringe. A full-blown, two-act production of the show follows in September with full orchestration and expanded musicians. The play shows the struggles then for the Arts to find secure footing in the KC Metro. What was true then remains true today. The Arts needs constand and consistent support to expand.
The story contains a mix of people involved in the struggle to gain funding. Of course, there is a love story involved, a crisis, and the hint that there’s more to come in Act II. The music is tuneful, well-planned, and has good lyrics. The dialogue is light, conversational, and naturally flowing. The characters are strong and the voices all good.
“Overture” screams sell-out, so purchase tickets early to avoid shut out at the venue.
“Overture the Musical This is a story about saving something beautiful. Overture celebrates the extraordinary grass-roots effort to help the Kansas City Philharmonic survive during its 1953-1954 season. In 1953, the Kansas City Philharmonic debuted its first opera festival and Jewel Ball, and was striving to become a world-renowned orchestra. At the same time, it was fighting for financial survival. Hundreds of tenacious, music-loving Kansas Citians came to its rescue through numerous curious and creative ways.”
By Krista Eyler & Barbara Nichols, Composer and book by Krista Eyler, Writers, Krista Eyler and Barbara Nichols; Orchestrations Krista Eyler and Michalis Koutsoupides; director, Barbara Nichols; assistant director, Curt Crespino; musical director, Kevin Bogan, stage manager, MacKenzie Sammons; choreographer, Valerie Martin; props, Betsy Sexton; crew, Joey Majc.
The “Overture” cast is: Lily, Krista Eyler; Christopher, Joel Morrison; Inda Beasley, Kay Noonan; Richard Wangerin, Kipp Simmons; Mrs. Marie McCune, Erica Baruth; Mrs. Clara Hockaday, Stasha Case; Hans Schweiger, Chris Halford; Ensemble–Whitney Armstrong, Jennifer Cannady, JC Dresslaer, John Edmonds, Rob Reeder.
Band: Sean Tatschl (Piano); Frank Annechinni (Bass); Billy Brimblecom (Drums)
FULL PREMIERE with orchestra: Sept. 21-30, The Arts Asylum
Tags: KC Fringe Festival, “Overture”, Arts Asylum, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment