BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame, a theatrical rrchestral song cycle written and performed by Onalea Gilbertson, is set to play select performances at the New York International Fringe Festival from tonight, August 15 through the 25th.
Acclaimed Canadian songstress, musician and theatre artist Onalea Gilbertson explores the life and stories of her grandmother, Blanche, in a theatrical song-cycle. The songs are a sophisticated mash-up of folk, jazz, torch and chamber music; inspired by the indomitable spirit of Blanche who survived the Great Depression, World War II and tragic lost love. Told through the eyes of Gilbertson with piano, violin, cello and soundscape; this exquisitely poignant new musical is a poetic meditation on memory, reminding us of the importance of gathering the stories in our family history before they disappear.
Originally commissioned by prestigious Canadian arts institution The Banff Centre BLANCHE had its world premiere at the 2007 Banff Summer Arts Festival. BLANCHE received its NY premiere in the fall of 2011 at The New York Musical Theatre Festival and most recently played the Capital Fringe in Washington DC in July 2012. BLANCHE will perform at the High Performance Rodeo an International Festival for the Arts in Calgary, Canada, Jan 14-26 2013. BLANCHE is available on CD or on itunes.
BLANCHE was created by Onaliea Gilberston, with music by Gilbertson with Morag Northey and Jonathan Lewis, and directed by Rachel Avery. The cast includes Josh Henderson (Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center) as ‘Ronnie’ on Violin; Eric William Love (Peter and the Starcatcher, NYTW) as ‘Bill’ on Cello; Eric Richardson (Goodspeed Playhouse) as ‘Woody’ on Guitar.
BLANCHE will play the Robert Moss Theatre with performances running on:
WED 8/15 at 4:00, FRI 8/17 at 6:15, SAT 8/18 at 7:00, SUN 8/19 at 7:00, THURS 8/23 at 7:15, SUN 8/25 at 2:15.
Tickets are $15 advance, $18 at the door, or online at www.fringenyc.org.