Something So Right
LehrerDance and MusicalFare team up to create a new kind of musical
An authentically inventive performance of storytelling, dancing, and singing told through the music of Paul Simon is being brought to the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts. The talented and athletic dancers of LehrerDance have joined forces with the equally skillful MusicalFare Theatre to create this one-of-a-kind project, which tells the story of a man’s undying love for his wife and the complexity of human relationships.
Jon Lehrer, the director of LehrerDance, and Randall Kramer, the director of MusicalFare Theatre, decided a long time ago that they wanted to collaborate on a project together; they just didn’t know exactly what it was going to be.
“When I started LehrerDance in Buffalo in 2007, Randy Kramer was on my list of people I wanted to reconnect and eventually collaborate with,” Lehrer says.
Lehrer and Kramer caught up with each other a couple summers ago at Artpark, where LehrerDance was performing a short piece called “Bridge and Tunnel,” a dance put to Paul Simon’s music.
“I had seen some of Jon’s work and I just thought he was an incredibly gifted choreographer in a very unique and original way, but yet also very populist in a communicating way, which sometimes can be hard with dance,” says Kramer. “A lot of choreographers don’t think like that and I think Jon does, and it makes for a really great experience for the audience.”
Acquiring the rights to use Simon’s music took a few months, but putting together the cast was easy. All eight dancers from LehrerDance serve as characters in the musical, along with Western New York’s Terrie George and John Fredo.
“It’s been great because the dancers are also actors in our story,” says Kramer. “In the story we have dancers who act, we have actors who dance and sing, and we have musicians that sing and act and dance. Everyone does everything. It’s really been almost a dream-type of collaboration.”
As far as writing the script, Lehrer and Kramer let the storyline unfold naturally, which resulted in a product that is unlike any traditional musical.
“We created the musical as we went,” Lehrer says. “The first day of rehearsal we didn’t really even know what we were going to do. We had an idea to let it create itself.”
In developing their first full-length musical together, Kramer and Lehrer, along with the musical director, Jason Bravo, all envisioned a different type of musical.
“We’re calling it a musical dance theatre experience, so it’s definitely in the musical theater genre, but we’re really trying to break down some barriers in how it’s presented,” says Lehrer. “It’s not your typical musical where it’s very happy with big song-and-dance routines. We really tried to stretch the imagination while trying to tell a really cool story.”
The story follows a man named Frank, who is dealing with the loss of his wife, Lorraine.Though she has passed, he is still reaching to have a relationship with her.
“I think there are great moments of happiness and there are moments of profound loss,” says Kramer. “It’s really about a relationship and all the things that happen within a relationship. Just because this man’s wife is no longer alive, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t seek a relationship with her and I think that’s something we can all sort of relate to regarding people who have passed on or people who have gone out of our lives.”
Something So Right is being presented Saturday, April 16, at 8pm and Sunday, April 17, at 2pm in the Mainstage Theatre, located at the UB Center for the Arts on the North Campus. Tickets for the show cost $35 for the public, $25 for students from any school, and $20 for University at Buffalo students. Tickets can be purchased from the UBCFA box office (Monday through Friday from 10am to 6pm) and through all Ticketmaster outlets, including Ticketmaster.com. Tickets may also be charged by calling 1-800-745-3000.
Watch the video presentation to learn more and preview the production:
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