Thursday 9th – Saturday 11th February 2017, 7:45pm, Robinson College Auditorium
Our first show of the Brickhouse Lent season is Jason Robert Brown’s incredible theatrical song-cycle, ‘Songs for a New World’. With a rousing score that blends elements of pop, gospel and jazz, featuring tight harmonies and darling vocals, ‘Songs for a New World’ transports its audience from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship bound for a new land, to the ledge of a New York penthouse. Characters range from a young man in the Bronx who dreams of becoming a famous basketball player, to a forlorn and neglected Mrs. Claus lamenting as Christmas approaches. A small but powerful cast and a supercharged, well-crafted score appeal to old and new generations alike as each character- in their own way- takes hold of that one moment and enters a new world.
The show is directed by Robinson’s Anastasia Raymond, a second-year Education with English and Drama student: “Songs for a New World is such an exciting show and I’ve had so much fun working on it for my Cambridge directing debut. The cast and crew of this production have been such a dream and I am really amazed by everyone’s dedication and talent when it came to whipping this show together in only three weeks!” Anastasia’s previous acting credits include playing Fizzy in BATS’ ‘Bugsy Malone’, Graziella in CUADC’s ‘West Side Story’ as well as featuring in various other Cambridge plays including ‘Are you sitting comfortably?’ and ‘Hatch’. Last summer she was also a volunteer on the Rickshaw Theatre Project.
The musical director is Charlie Saunders, a first-year Music student at Selwyn, who is very excited to be taking part in his first Cambridge production: “And what an awesome show it is – Songs for a New World is full of amazing numbers, and the cast is fantastic at bringing it to life. It’s been a great experience to help put the show together, and it is testament to the whole team that this has been managed in three weeks. I won’t be able to get Jason Robert Brown songs out of my head for a while after the show, and I hope you won’t be able to either!”
The cast includes Lucia Azzi, a second-year Law student from Pembroke. Lucia is no stranger to the Cambridge theatre scene, having previously performed in CUMTS’ ‘A Little Night Music’, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, and the ‘24 Hour Musical’: “I love spending most of my time singing in shows or in the Fitz Sirens and pretending I'm not here to get a degree. Songs for a New World is such an incredible show and unlike any other I’ve been in; every song tells its own story, capturing the struggles and dreams of a different character and the moment in which he or she has to make a crucial decision. I have absolutely fallen in love with this show and have enjoyed every moment of the process thanks to such a brilliant cast and team.”
Next we have Jodie Russell, a second-year at Newnham studying medicine. Having starred as the Narrator in Brickhouse Theatre Company’s sell-out production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ last November, she says she “couldn’t resist working with this lovely company – and wonderful group of people – once more. I have had so much fun working on Songs for a New World due to its amazing score but mostly because of the fantastic people I have been working with. It is unlike any production I’ve done before, so I am very excited to be a part of it.”
Louise Harris is the third cast member, and is a first-year PBS student from Fitzwilliam. But she claims “most of my time is spent singing (either with the Fitz Sirens or as a soloist) and getting involved in all the amazing theatre opportunities in Cambridge. I didn’t know this musical before I was granted the blessing of being cast in it, but I can honestly say it has one of the most genius scores I’ve ever heard, and am so grateful to have been part of creating such an exciting, thought-provoking show. Every song has a story, and there are few other musicals that demonstrate this better.”
Finally, we have Rachel-Marie Weiss, a second-year PBS student at Christ’s who likes dogs, musicals, and can regularly be seen performing as part of the Cambridge Impronauts. Her flair for comedy is evident when she says: “Songs for a New World is really great, especially if you want songs to sing while crying in the shower. The other folks working on this show are also really great, especially if you want to think about how talented other people are while crying in the shower. Also, I’m from America, which probably helps explain why I’ve been spending so much time crying in the shower.”
‘Songs for a New World’ promises to be a fantastic show, and runs from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th February at 7:45pm in the Robinson College Auditorium. Tickets are only £8 (£6 concession) and can be purchased online: https://brickhouse.tessera.info
More details about this, and all the other shows taking to the Brickhouse stage can be found on our website: www.brickhouse.soc.srcf.net or on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@BrickhouseTC).
We look forward to seeing you at the Brickhouse soon!