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Friday
Jan312014

"Hostage Song" - a thought provoking production

Only two more chances to see Music Theatre of Madison's "Hostage Song" at The Frequency (7 pm on Friday 1/31 and 7 pm on Saturday 2/1).  I saw the show last night and am still processing the experience on a few different levels - both as a different direction for musical theatre and in terms of subject matter.

The indie rock approach to musical theatre and the subject matter fit well in the small back room of The Frequency.  Actors entering through the back house and leading the blindfolded hostages to the stage.  There's something immediate about being so close to everyone, especially with the subject matter of the show.  There is no wall between audience and actor, the band is right there on stage with the cast -- like an intimate backroom concert for you and 50 of your closest friends.  It's a very different experience as an audience member.

At times I was reminded of Lee Blessing's "Two Rooms" - the hints into what family members are going through, the fantasies created by the hostage, the graphic descriptions of violence.  Some of the stories and lyrics are disturbing as they are based in truth, things that have actually happened to real people ..but that's the point, social activism through musical theatre - catchy rock beats and melodies lure you in and then you actually listen to the lyrics and become engaged in the monologues.

Katie Davis as Jennifer and Mikhael Farah as Jim were well matched on all fronts.  Their vocal timbres fit the score and each other and both showed dramatic range throughout - from comic (yes, comic) moments to more serious ones.  Dana Pellebon as the wife had a particularly touching scene - I won't give it away by going into detail but she brought the entire room into stillness.  Frontman Clayton Hamburg (think early 90s Eddie Vedder) served as a commentator throughout - a talented singer and guitar player with stage presence to spare.  His appearance as Jim's son near the end of the play is heartbreaking.  Rounding out the cast is Paul Lorentz, whose sense of comic timing was particularly astute in a family dinner fantasy sequence.

Congrats to producer Meghan Randolph and her production staff (including director Catie O'Donnell and music director Ross Shenker) for a thought provoking production.

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    ... עבודה בעגלות בחו\"ל - בנוסף, חיים בקנדה כמאה אלף ישראלים ועוד כמעט בכל מדינה מערבית על פני המדינה כולה. חלק מן המשכורת של העובדים אשר מקבלים דירות שבהן הם מתגוררים במשך שהותם במדינה הזרה. לקוח... FST Blog - "Hostage Song" - a thought provoking production ...
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    Four Seasons Theatre - FST Blog - "Hostage Song" - a thought provoking production
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    Four Seasons Theatre - FST Blog - "Hostage Song" - a thought provoking production
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    Four Seasons Theatre - FST Blog - "Hostage Song" - a thought provoking production

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