A Play with Music
… “It was for me immensely moving for so many reasons and on so many levels. You have captured a great deal of how I feel about life and music from this vantage point of my life… I was struck by your ability to conjure or reincarnate another time, resonantly and sometimes painfully so.”
Though the word is never used this is my marriage play. It explores the lives of three remarkable men as they forge their lives together over a period spanning more than fifty years in New York City.
Donald Corren as Arnie
Malcolm Gets as Sam
Patrick Vaill as Jimmy
In an earlier reading, the role of Sam was played by Bob Stillman.
As the story makes dramatic leaps forward and backward in time, the thread of music runs through their lives: the songs they use to express what otherwise they don’t have the words to say….
From the play: Sam, a cabaret performer, eulogizes his friend Arnie, who was critical of the music he performed…
He said, why bother with a bunch of old songs that aren’t even top tier? Song by song maybe they don’t seem like much. But put them all together…
All the love songs, torch songs, up-tempo numbers, specialty material, songs people danced to, made out to, made up with, broke the ice with, played on the jukes, singing along in the car, in the shower, on the can, on the radio as they got in from work, played over dinner, last thing at night, first thing in the morning along with the news, in sickness and health, joy and despair, songs that let us believe we were more eloquent, more loving, more worthy of respect—songs made of nothing that hasn’t been said a million times before—how many times can you rhyme June with Moon?—how many tunes can you make from the same bunch of notes you can span with one hand—together all those songs might add up to something, might tell the story of who we were, how we lived, how it felt to be young, and how we loved each other in our own slice of time and place, bad and good: verse, chorus, refrain.
Songs featured in the play can be heard here.
Songbook is also a novel. Nearing completion, details are here.