through February 12, 2017
A troubadour is a poet, minstrel, musician, singer and courtly entertainer. And this is about two entertainers, finding their way to fulfillment, crossing lines, gathering strength, finding peace and so much more under the horizon.
Scripted by Janece Shaffer, the story is set in Nashville in 1950s when country music was undergoing some changes. Billy Mason is a performer who is basically a Bible thumper singing country gospel numbers. He’s played to the hilt by Radney Foster. His son is Joe Mason, who is always in the shadow of his father’s fame and acclaim. But, Joe (Zach Seabaugh) isn’t quite on the same page as his dad.
Rob Lawhorn ties the scenes together as a radio DJ/announcer for stations where Billy and Joe may show up. The score was written by Kristian Bush, who took the story line from Janece and created the fabric to help tell and sell the story. And, on the subject of fabric, we meet Andrew Benator, who is Izzy, an immigrant tailor who dreams of becoming the designer/manager to the stars. He wants to invent an Elvis.
Izzy meets up with Inez (Sylvie Davidson) a composer-lyricist with a huge collection all in her head; and nothing of substance other than the clothes on her back and her guitar. She might be just what he needs, to help get Joe out of street clothes and into rhinestone studded cowboy attire. After all, appearance will help him get to center stage at the Grand Ole Opry. Bethany Anne Lind plays the vamp for Joe and vampire for Inez.
As the show progresses we get to view the trio of musicians in the broadcast studios, and the set by Todd Rosenthal works really well, as it rotates easily moving and changing scenes.
Billy gets really ticked off with Joe, when Joe seems to stray from the father’s line. The ties are broken and may never be mended. But, as life goes on, things resolve themselves as the father and the son find more glue that binds them than grit which comes between them. If it sounds like a family you know, then maybe it will give you hope, in a time when hope may seem less productive than in years gone by.
This is another one of those Alliance shows which certainly looks like it could be Broadway bound. So see it now, while easy to do so. More info and tickets at AllianceTheatre.org