Quilters, by Molly Newman and Barbara Dameshek, music and lyrics by Barbara Dameshek, is playing at the Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins Sept 15-Oct 23rd.
The play was originally staged in Denver many years ago, had a run on Broadway which led to multiple Tony awards and is now revived as the opening show for Bas Bleu’s 20th season.
|“Covered Wagon” photo by Bill Cotton|
This production is a marvelous piecing together of vignettes from the actual diary entries of pioneer women from the 19th century.
Under the direction of Morris Burns, the cast of 7 women all play many different roles, held together by the over-arching story of a mother and her 6 daughters, for whom quilting is a bond, a way of life, a process of weaving hope out of scraps and tattered pieces from a hard life on the American frontier.
While not strictly a “musical” the acoustic music (in which hammered dulcimer plays a significant role!) is integral to the story and the musicians are often helping to move the storyline ahead, in addition to accompanying the sweet harmonies of the cast.
|“Log House” photo by Bill Cotton|
Why do I keep going on about this in a blog about a touring musician? I’ll tell you!
First, I have often heard about the wonders of this show and my friend and colleague Bonnie Carol recalls the powerful experiences she’s had playing in the band for other performances.
When one plays the hammered dulcimer, one is always on the look-out for opportunities to play with choral groups and dramatic performances. How much more delightful when the dulcimer is intended to be part of the band!
|Quilters Band: Jeremy, Marta/Steve, Ben & Greg,
Photo by Bill Cotton
Secondly, sometimes the best gigs are NOT on the road…but they are right at home! To play the music that enables these stories to be told today is a treasured opportunity.
However, because of the variety of my schedule, when invited, I was not able to commit to all of the performances because I had previously committed to tours through the midwest and the Pacific northwest.
But one of my “graduated” students, Marta Dean, has stepped right into the opening and together we are piecing it together, filling the hammered dulcimer, guitar II and bodhran parts.
Finally, I want to issue you an invitation to come and experience the hope and fortitude of the stories of strong women who piece together a life for themselves, their men and their families despite facing very difficult situations and obstacles.
For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
The show runs Sept 15-Oct 23rd: 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturdays, 2:30 pm Matinee on Sundays.