Scenic Design by Christopher Pankratz, Lighting Design by Noah Trimm
and Costume Design by Robin Sweet
With Rose Todaro, violin, Chris Swanson, viola, Mathew Hixon, cello and Khris Dodge, piano
Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tell Me on a Sunday features 2008 Arizona Daily Star MAC award winner (for best actress in a musical) Kriste' Belt as the lone storyteller in this sung-through saga of a woman and her dreams. Told as a series of letters home, it features a string trio with piano (cello, viola, violin) and the stirring melodies that Webber has made world-recognized with such hits as Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Cats. Playing at the Cabaret Space, Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave.
Kriste' Belt. Photo by John Bae
Andrew Lloyd Webber created TELL ME ON A SUNDAY after writing JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and before beginning work on EVITA. "I wanted to do something different, something intimate and raw" says Webber, who is known for mega-musicals with falling chandeliers and dancers dressed as cats. "I wanted the audience to care about one person and to be able to focus directly on that person and their emotions..."
Why would Arizona Onstage Productions, known for its successful productions of tricky and challenging musicals of William Finn and Stephen Sondheim, choose this show? "I know that this decision has puzzled some of our loyal audience members. One of our goals is to think outside of the box, bring people to material that they have not had access to and stretch our boundaries of what we 'think we 'like' in musical theater," says founding Artistic Director Kevin Johnson. “I saw this piece performed in a pub in a small English town with just a piano and cello and an amazing singer/actor. I came in slightly late and did not honestly know anything about the show, including who wrote it. When I found out, I was surprised, honestly, because I am not a huge Webber fan, though I respect his work and his marketing skills. I was moved to tears and cared about the central character in the play. I felt her joy in her accomplishments and the total devastation in her losses. As I grow older, I am becoming more careful about prejudging an artist - quite often I am wrong in my initial thoughts. I think that TELL ME ON A SUNDAY will thrill fans of Webber and surprise those who think that this is ‘not their thing.’ I have always loved this piece, but never thought of mounting it unless I had the perfect performer to hold the stage 'alone' for the entire show, and who could not only sing the difficult material, but act and live the character of Emma. When I met Kriste' Belt during "Sunday in the Park with George," I knew I found that special dynamic the show needed. She will blow the audience away."
To read a review from James Reel in The Tucson Weekly click here. The Tucson Weekly.
Here's his preview in The Tucson Weekly, The Tucson Weekly.
The Arizona Daily Star preview by Kathy Allen is here Arizona Daily Star. And here's her review Arizona Daily Star
Chuck Graham reviewed the show in The Tucson Citizen and you can read about it here. The Tucson Citizen. He also wrote a preview. The Tucson Citizen