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Amy Kohn's radio opera "1 Plum Sq."

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Spinning On Air presents the radio premier of 1 Plum Sq., an 80-minute Opera/Musical-Theater piece with words and music by Amy Kohn. 1 Plum Sq. tells of construction versus destruction in architecture, in creativity, in relationships, and in the mind. It's written in a style composer Kohn accurately describes as "rhythmic, post-minimalist, baroque and jazz influenced." This special WNYC production features four singers, piano, bass, accordion, drums, and police-scanner.
1 Plum Square presents the story of three friends: Alex, Ellen, and Joel. Inseparable 20 years ago in art school, the three have drifted apart. The show looks in on them now: Alex is a successful architect in mid-life crisis following a recent divorce with Ellen. Ellen, once a location scout, has given it up in an effort to rediscover her creative spirit as a sculptor. Joel is a kite-maker with an obsession for watching houses burn. He has spent the past 20 years moving from town to town, and has settled, for now, in the town where Alex and Ellen live.

Tension builds as Alex confronts the break-up of his marriage, the monotony of his job, and his growing fascination with fire and with Joel, until he is ultimately forced to choose between creation and destruction.

1 Plum Sq. consists of 23 songs, each working much like a photograph - chronologically capturing private and public moments in the lives of each character. As the show progresses, the “photographs” seem to layer upon each other to reveal repeating themes and create an emotional whole.

The show was originally written in 1997 as a Master’s Thesis in the NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, where it was given a reading Directed by Lisa Rothe and starring Ron Hilley and Cass Morgan. In January 2005, NYU put up a second reading of the newly revised show as part of it’s Frederick Loewe Alumni Reading Series, in association with IN ONE.

The Cast:
· Alex is played by Graham Rowat (Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast/Dracula)
· Ellen is played by Terri Klausner (The Vineyard Theatre’s Bed and Sofa)
· Joel is played by Eric Michael Gillett (Sondheim's The Frogs, City Opera’s Cinderella)
· Suzanne is played by Melissa Fathman (Rob Schwimmer and Mark Stewart’s “Polygraph Lounge,” Anthony Braxton’s Opera: Trillium R: Shala Fears for the Poor)
· Musical Director Steve Marzullo, piano (Music Director: Once on this Island, Pianist: Ragtime, Pianist on films: Beauty and the Beast, Alladin, Anastasia, Composer: Audra McDonald’s Seven Deadly Sins)
· Annette Kudrak, accordion
· Ben Rubin, double bass
· Jeff Davis, drums

» Amy Kohn's website

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