|Rock band GrooveLily’s Gene Lewin and Valerie Vigoda in the concert-musical“Striking 12” at Westport Country Playhouse on Sat., Dec. 10, 4 and 7 p.m.|
Photo by Joan Marcus
With its tagline, “'Tis the season - deal with it,” the original concert-musical blends old-fashioned uplift with a modern tone of 21st century skepticism. A contemporary take on the classic “The Little Match Girl,” it tells the tale of an incandescent salesgirl whose holiday spirit can’t be matched.
Set on the last night of the old year, Striking 12 has it roots in musical theater, classical, jazz and rock. The recipient of an off-Broadway 2006 Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Musical and a Bay Area Theatre Critic's Choice Award, it is co-written by GrooveLily and Rachel Sheinkin, Tony award winner for “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
"Striking 12 put the band GrooveLily on the map of the musical theater world as a rock band writing and performing shows,” said Angela Marroy Boerger, Playhouse education and community programs coordinator. “This clever and inventive pop-folk-rock-rap trio appeals to a wide range of age groups, from children to adults.”
Valerie Vigoda, electric violinist and singer, is the founding member of GrooveLily. A classically trained musician, she toured the world with Cyndi Lauper (opening for Tina Turner and Cher), Joe Jackson and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. She founded GrooveLily in 1994, with a critically acclaimed CD called "Inhabit My Heart." Vigoda is a two-time winner of the Jonathan Larson Award for Excellence in Writing for the Theatre, along with her husband and longtime collaborator Brendan Milburn, keyboards/vocals. In 2008, Milburn and Vigoda were commissioned by Disney to write the score for “Toy Story: The Musical,” a rock musical based on the critically acclaimed Pixar film “Toy Story.”
Gene Lewin, drums/vocals, blurs the lines between jazz and rock. He tours regularly with Audra McDonald, and has appeared on CDs with George Coleman, John Patitucci, and many others.
Tickets: $40 and $20 for adults; $20 for children/students.
Other “Winter at the Playhouse” events include“The Nutcracker,” a holiday ballet presented by Ballet Etudes, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4 at 1 and 5 pm.; “A Season of Miracles” by Pushcart Players, a sparkling collection of holiday tales from different cultures set to music, on Sunday, Dec.11 at 1 and 4 pm.;“Holiday” by Philip Barry, a Script in Hand reading of the beloved romantic comedy upon which the film starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn was based, Monday, Dec. 12 at 7 pm.; and The Broadway Boys, a holiday concert Broadway style, on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 pm, and Sunday, Dec, 18 at 3 pm.
As a community service during all of the “Winter at the Playhouse” holiday events, the Playhouse will collect gently used coats/jackets to benefit the Community Closet of Bridgeport. Collection boxes will be in the Playhouse lobby through December 18. In addition, the theater is hosting a Holiday Memories Writing Challenge for area students, grades K – 8. The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 2. For more information, visit www.westportplayhouse.org.For more information, tickets or holiday gift certificates, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).