Apr 272011

Few months ago my dear friend, Stas Wronka, called me saying that he would like to introduce me to a very talented writer and composer who has written an interesting musical related to Jewish culture.  A week later he came with Art Levine to one of our shows at Flashpoint with the script and a tape with a snapshot of the musical that was previously successfully produced by the Sandy Spring Theater Group in Gaithersburg in June 2010 but was never produced on the professional stage.  I learned from Art that “Called Up To Life is a  new musical blending the sounds of klezmer and Yiddish theatre with the power of Hasidic storytelling.  The musical begins as a group of Italian Jews, preparing for the Sabbath, are interrupted by a mysterious caller.  This caller claims to have been the assistant to the legendary Baal Shem Tov.  When asked to relate his experiences, the caller loses all memory.  The Italians tell the rollicking stories they know, outlining the life of the Baal Shem Tov.  Still, the caller remains mute.  Finally, the caller remembers a story that has immediate implications for the group and resolves all outstanding issues. ”

I listened carefully and with each word I became more and more interested in the work and grabbed the script and a tape and promised to read it and get back to Art.

A week later our brainstorming begun.  I was thinking that the only way to produce the show is to have live musicians but that would bring the cost of a production to big numbers so I offered first to do the show as a Staged Reading with the recorded music or with the piano.  We started immediately searching for the best venue, we wanted to find the best place that would get most interest and create a buzz.  I thought of many places around the area, Flashpoint, Synagogue, The Lyceum and more.  Stan introduced me to director, Stan Levin with whom we met at Bus Boys and Poets and continued our brainstorming.   we are hoping to bring to live the show in June.

More will develop soon.  We became very excited and looking forward to see the project on stage.  Collaboration and good partnership is the key word for us now.