Café Variations, Infused With Gershwin Songs, Premieres in Boston April 13
By Adam Hetrick
Café Variations, a new romantic theatre work by Charles L. Mee Jr. and Anne Bogart, studded with songs from the Gershwin catalogue, debuts April 13 in Boston as part of ArtsEmerson's programming.
The world-premiere work runs through April 22 at the Cutler Majestic. SITI Company's Bogart (American Document, Radio Macbeth) stages the piece that is authored by Mee (Hotel Cassiopeia, Queens Boulevard).
Mee and Bogart have collaborated on several projects, among them American Document, which brought a contemporary angle to Martha Graham's seminal 1938 political work of the same title.
Café Variations takes short scenes from Mee's pre-existing works A Walk in the Park; Café le Monde; Memory Palace; and Night and Day; and pairs them with a song from the Gershwin catalogue in order to create a series of mini-plays.
The cast is a blend of SITI Company members and young actors from the Department of Performing Arts at Emerson College, where Bogart and Mee have been in residence developing the work.
Here's how Café Variations is characterized: "Incorporating dialogue, music and almost perpetual movement, a series of vivid and visceral explorations of life, love and identity cast Gershwin classics in a new light. One woman awaits the future love of her life; meanwhile, her waiter experiences love at first sight. Couples quarrel, philosophize and reconnect. Unabashedly romantic, this world premiere celebration of café culture recalls a time when the café was a place for civil discourse—and reflects the courage it still takes for one person to reach out to another."
For tickets and more information, visit artsemerson.org. The Majestic is located at 219 Tremont Street in Boston.
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