World Premiere of “Dancingmaster of Canterbury” Set for Sept. 23
September 23 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm$20 - $24
Next Stage, the Monadnock Folklore Society, and the Brattleboro Music Center present Keith Murphy as Dudley Laufman in the world premiere of “The Dancingmaster of Canterbury.”
Performances are set for Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. at the Peterborough (NH) Town Hall and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at Next Stage, in Putney, VT. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com for $20; the cost is $24 at the door.
Lawrence Siegel’s musical theater portrait will appeal to fans of traditional music and dance, as well as those familiar with musical theater and classical music. A unique combination of music, dance and storytelling, the work is a whimsical musical portrait of legendary contra dance caller Dudley Laufman, who almost single-handedly provides the link between the old days of rural contradancing in the hamlets of New England, and the vibrant network of dances taking place every week throughout the US and beyond.
The words sung in the piece come, verbatim, from an interview conducted with Laufman by composer Siegel, the latest of his acclaimed “Verbatim Projects.” The character “Dudley” is played by the great traditional musician, Keith Murphy. Becky Tracy on violin and Siegel on piano provide the musical accompaniment. Mary DesRosiers, a dancing master in her own right, has created original choreography performed by a group of traditional dancers from the Monadnock region of New Hampshire.
There are two performances only, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness this unique combination of music, dance and storytelling. Keith Murphy brings his warm and evocative tenor voice to the character of Dudley. Becky Tracy weaves her special sound into music inside and outside the traditional realm, and Mary DesRosier’s choreography works traditional dance forms into a narrative presence in the piece.
Together, these artists and the dancers achieve Siegel’s vision merging traditional vocabulary with the forms of classical opera, along with his unique ability to transform spoken words into lyrics.