Here is the final moment of the show "Gathering Blue", sneakily taken by my cell phone.
It's an incredible show. My thanks go to playwright Richard Hellesen, and to composer/lyricists Michael Silversher and Joy Sikorski., as well as director Peter Ellenstein...oh, and the list goes on, and should include, of course, all the performers.
This event in Kansas, done through the William Inge Center for the Arts, is just the beginning of the journey that the show will take. Already the composers are feeling the need for another song---replacing some expository dialogue---at the beginning of act 2.
It follows the book very closely and the book has moments that especially lent themselves to dramatization and song. There is a lovely scene in Annabella's garden, where the old woman teaches the girl the names and uses of the flowers; after each verse of the song she turns to the girl with "Say it back" and the song becomes a lovely and lyrical duet. Later: I won't even attempt to describe it here but the performance of The Singer, wearing the robe, at The Gathering, is breathtakingly staged; the reaction of the audience (which included me) was palpable---we were all stunned, I think.
Ironically, at the same time that theaters everywhere are decimated by the tough economics of these times, this musical addresses the times in startling ways. Essentially it is about people deluded by their leaders and living lives controlled by fear, greed, and mistrust.
And then a young person perceives the possibility of the world being put right through honesty and optimism. It ends on a note of hope.
Well. I needn't go on and on. But I hope the show, like the small plant left spotlighted on the stage at the end, will flourish and find a vibrant life.