Letter from the Artistic Director: The Andrews Brothers
By Sean McCall
Welcome to The Andrews Brothers,
Guys in dresses have always been funny. It’s a time honored truism of theatre and one that’s provided me with a decent living over the years. But this isn’t just a show about some guys in dresses. This is a show that honors the music and spirit of “the greatest generation” as Tom Brokaw has called them.
The show takes place on a small island in the Pacific in what those of us blessed with the gift of hindsight know to be just a few months before the end of WWII. Max, Larry, Patrick and Peggy don’t know that though. They only know that whatever they can possibly do to raise moral and entertain a group of incredibly brave and dedicated service men and women is what they will do at any cost – even if it means sacrificing a little dignity in the line of duty.
The kind of “pluck” and “gumption” depicted on stage seem a little quaint by today’s standards. And looking through a pair of cynical modern eyeglasses, one might consider this kind of behavior a bit naïve. But I would argue that it is exactly this kind of wide eyed optimism and hope that got our country, and indeed the world, through such a dark period of history.
And of course there’s the music. I’ve always been a fan of this kind of music and I hope it brings back wonderful memories for some, and hooks some new fans for those of you too young to have known this style in its heyday. The tight harmonies and delightful, sometimes silly, lyrics have been a pleasure to work on.
I’ll also admit that the timing of this show within our season isn’t just haphazard. As I looked at the blank spaces on the calendar a year ago contemplating what in heaven’s name I would put on the 2015 season (just as I now ponder the same thing for 2016) I realized that this particular time slot would encompass the 70th Anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. I knew this show would be the perfect way to commemorate that historic event in a completely entertaining way.
Most of all, we dedicate this show, as we have our entire 2015 Studio theatre season, to the wonderful, brave, dedicated men and women of all branches of the armed services who have fought throughout the world to defend the freedoms that we all hold dear.
And speaking of our Studio, if you still haven’t gotten over there to see a show, this is the season to change that. Following the run of The Andrews Brothers we open Heroes, an award winning comedy, about the humorous and touching exploits of three WWI veterans (and a very stoic dog) as they dream of what lies beyond the confines of their veterans’ home in France. And that’s followed in the fall by Waiting for the Parade which beautifully focuses on the stories of five women facing the challenges of WWII on the home front, though in that show I promise – the women in dresses will all be played by women.
As always, thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.