L to R Front Joe Holcomb Michele Maher, Chris Maher, Stefanie Marcus, Hank Nations, Dominic Holcomb, Sherry Witte, Virginia Haladyna Back: Desmond R. Devitt, Nick Collier, Lisa & Will Holcomb, Charlie & Laura Goff, Richard Dodwell, Danne Absher, Mike Witte, Keaton Holcomb, Kody Dyer, Landon Holcomb. Not pictured: Chester Eitze and Lisa Picciandra
Written and directed by Engela Edwards
Conceived by Engela Edwards & Chester Eitze
Chester Eitze challenged Engela Edwards to write a musical for his Silver Aniversary Season and calling it "Sunday in the Park". Having studied the music of early composers when writing, Engela challenged herself to write a musical using only music from the time period.
Engela spent months doing research on the music, art, life as it was at the start of the 20th century . She then held auditions and cast the show. She handed out six group numbers for the cast to learn and sent them away while she wrote the show. Engela crafted characters and a story line for the musical. She wrote "Sunday in the Park." using the original lyrics from the music and poetry of the time period. She also rewrote and adapted some of the lyrics to fit.
It was the story of the citizens of Bastrop on one a single Sunday at the begining of the 20th century. She then brought the performers back together and directed, choreographed, and costumed the show. It had a successful run from April 17 to May 9, 2009 at the Bastrop Opera House and raised much needed funds for the Opera House.
The show is "A Perfect Day" This premiere production captures the beautiful, funny, heartwarming moments in the park on a Sunday at the beginning of 20th century. It was a time when cars shared the roads with horses, and flying was still new. As photography became more available, artist left documenting all the gritty details of life to the photographers while the painters tried to communicate more the pleasing colors and emotions of life. They found beauty, as I do, in the simple things: babies, children, first love, young couples, courting, weddings, families, romance, a baseball game, a church, a dance, boating, seniors, a county fair, a flower seller, a storyteller, a drive, a stroll in the park, a dance in the dark. I used these impressionist painters as my inspiration. For my paint box, I used popular songs mostly written from 1900 to 1921.
The same way the impressionists painters captured a moment in time with light and color, I wanted to capture the feelings of a community with sound and movement. The actors move across the stage like brushstrokes on a canvas, playing out the moments of their lives. Populating the park are all levels of society from the socialite to shop girl, from the working-class cop to the flirting dandy, from the current trendsetters joyously rushing to the next new invention, to the town elders relishing and sharing their memories. I think the characters, their stories, and their relationships are timeless.
The show is a product of many thousands of hours of effort. We hope that all who see this sweet and charming story will take with them a memory "painted this perfect day with colors that never fade," as song writer Carrie Jacob-Bond would say.
More info below.
|Stefanie Marcus, Danne Absher|
|Nick Collier, Desmond R. Devitt, Danne Absher|
|Lisa Holcomb, Richard Dodwell, Laura Goff|
Back: Laura Goff, Sydney Aguilar
Front: Jared Ballejos, C.J. Goff, Danielle Huber, Lauren Ballejos, Preston Goff;
Will and Lisa Holcomb
Jared Ballejos & Lisa Picciandra
Stefanie Marcus & Danne Absher
in the Park: Musicale
Fridays and Saturdays, April 17 – May 9, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
Written and directed by Engela Edwards
Conceived by Engela Edwards on a dare from Chester Eitze
A day in the life of Bastrop. Beautiful people, voices, costumes, dances, and smiles. Includes songs from the best composers of the period.
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors 60 up; $7 Students; $5 children 14 and under
We were grateful that Michael Meigs of AustinLiveTheatre.com preserved the program for us. You can see a pdf scan of it here.
Choreography & staging: Engela Edwards, with Laura Goff & Chester Eitze
Chester Eitze titled the production "Sunday in the Park," and with the help of those dedicated to the preservation of American popular music, we tell a story of our community using only the lyrics of popular songs from the era when the opera house was built.
M&L Bob Carleton 1918
"Three Blind Mice"
"I'm a Little Teapot"
"Ring Around the Rosie"
"Hey Diddle Diddle"
"Ain't We Got Fun" WT
(M) Richard A. Whiting; (L) Raymond B. Egan & Gus Kahn 1921
"The Sidewalks of Bastrop" BE
(M) Charles B. Lawlor; (L) James W. Blake 1894 (lyrics adapted by Engela Edwards 2009)
"Some Sunday Morning" WT
(M) Richard A. Whiting; (L) Gus Kahn & Raymond Roan 1917 (very slight lyric adaptation by Engela Edwards 2009)
(M&L) Septimus Winner 1868
"When You Wore A Tulip and I Wore A Big Red Rose" RR
(M) Percy Wenrich; (L) Jack Mahoney 1914
"Second Hand Rose" BE
(M) James F. Hanley; (L) Grant Clarke 1921
"Red Rose Rag" BE
(M&L) Percy Wenrich 1911
"He'd Have To Get Under (Get Out And Get Under)" BE
(M) Maurice Abrahams, (L) Grant Clark and Edgar Leslie 1913
"Somebody Stole My Gal" BE
(M & L) Leo Wood 1918
"If You Can't Get A Girl In The Summertime (You'll Never Get A Girl At All)" CR
(M) Harry Tierney; (L) Bert Kalmar 1915
"Kiss Me, My Honey, Kiss Me" RR
(M) Ted Snyder; (L) Irving Berlin 1910
"When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em" BE
(M) George Gershwin; (L) Murray Roth 1916
"I'm Just Wild about Harry" TS
(M) Eubie Blake; (L) Noble Sissie 1921
"You Can Tango, You Can Trot, Dear: But Be Sure and Hesitate" CR
(M) Harry Van Tilzer; (L) Andrew B. Sterling 1914
"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
(M) Eliphalet Oram Lyte; (L) R. Sinclair 1852 (Lyrics adapted by Eliphalet Oram Lyte1881)
"Row, Row, Row" BE
(M) Jimmie V. Monaco; (L) William Jerome 1912
"Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" RR
(M) Albert Van Tilzer; (L) Junie McCree 1910
"Pretty Baby" BE (M) Tony Jackson and Egbert Van Alstyne; (L) Gus Kahn 1916
"Can't You Take It Back, and Change It for a Boy?" JB
(M & L) ChaUaway, Thurland, 1911
"Which? Grand Baby or a Baby Grand" JB
(M) Hampton Durand (L) Irving B. Lee 1909
"Cuddle Up A Little Closer, Lovey Mine" RR
(M & L) Karl Hoschna 1910
"I'm The Captain of The Broomstick Cavalry" RR
(M&L) Carrie Jacobs-Bond 1890
"You're A Grand Old Flag" RR & BE
(M & L) George M. Cohan 1906
Sunday in the Park: Musicale (c) Engela Edwards 2009
The Talented Cast:
The Wonderful Crew
Terri Dyer, Bill Crawford, Cindy Thompson, Danne Absher, Lisa Holcomb, Laura Goff, Michele Maher, Randy Combs, Stefanie Marcus, Kathleen Ballejos,And a very special thanks to our amazing families for their love, patience, and support.