Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart Hand2Mouth review by Pearl Waldorf February 4, 2013

(lowrez)h2m_Heart_MatthewDieckmanJulieHammondMaesie SpeerLiz HaydenFaithHelma_photoPatrickWeishampelSomething’s Got Ahold of My Heart
Hand2Mouth

Thursdays-Sundays @8PM until Feb 17th
Studio 2 810 SE Belmont Tickets: $12-15
Buy tickets: https://app.ticketturtle.com/index.php?actions=4&p=2
http://www.hand2mouththeatre.org/

review by Pearl Waldorf:
I was seduced last night. By the hand2mouth ensemble. Yup. I am head over heels. If you were there, I’m betting you are too. Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart is not a play exploring themes of the heart. It is an encounter with 6 captivating lovers who won’t let up, not until we will follow them anywhere.

What makes our hand2mouth affair so alluring? Never once do we question we are in the deft hands of experts who know love pulses in the chest and in the gut, it is short breaths and low moans. It lives in fists and tears and long lusty looks.

Our hosts condense time to drive home the tension. Music vibrates through the evening to guarantee we feel not think. It’s our dance party, our boxing match. We are refreshingly released from any requirement to track story. Our entire experience is designed to hold us gentle, rough, desperate moment by moment.

At this point you may be wondering, how can hand2mouth’s Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart give us the unbridled intensity, the drama, the abandon of love without cheapening it? A fully formed rock show of course, no holds barred. I’m smitten. You will be too.

hand2mouth ensemble members: Julie Hammond, Maesie Speer, Liz Hayden and Faith Helma
Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart Hand2Mouth 8pm Jan 31st- Feb 17th Studio 2 810 SE Belmont I was seduced last night. By the hand2mouth ensemble. Yup. I am head over heels. If you were there, I’m betting you are too. Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart is not a play exploring themes of the heart. It is an encounter with 6 captivating lovers who won’t let up, not until we will follow them anywhere. What makes our hand2mouth affair so alluring? Never once do we question we are in the deft hands of experts who know love pulses in the chest and in the gut, it is short breaths and low moans. It lives in fists and tears and long lusty looks. Our hosts condense time to drive home the tension. Music vibrates through the evening to guarantee we feel not think. It’s our dance party, our boxing match. We are refreshingly released from any requirement to track story. Our entire experience is designed to hold us gentle, rough, desperate moment by moment. At this point you may be wondering, how can hand2mouth’s Something’s Got Ahold of My Heart give us the unbridled intensity, the drama, the abandon of love without cheapening it? A fully formed rock show of course, no holds barred. I’m smitten. You will be too.

review by Pearl Waldorf

Advertisements
 

Meet the Artists: Andrew Fridae, Olivia Murphy, Josh Gulotta February 1, 2013

MinusDanProductions_AndrewFridae_OliviaMurphy_JoshGulotta

Ribbons of War!, adapted from a rock opera by Jay Purdy-
Left to right: Playwright & Musical Director:Andrew Fridae; Production Manager:Olivia Murphy and Director: Josh Gulotta

Fri Feb 1@ 7:30PM – Sat Feb 2 @7:30PM – Sun Feb 3 @2:30PM
Shaking the Tree 1407 SE Stark St
http://www.facebook/ribbonsofwar
http://theextraordinaires.bandcamp.com/album/ribbons-of-war

Olivia, Andrew and Josh all went to Bennington College together in Vermont and ultimately landed in Portland where they decided to adapt Purdy’s musical for the stage. They – and the rest of the company who have worked with them on Ribbons of War! – are terribly inventive, collaborative, talented, humble, playful, generous and … will break into song unpredictably at any time and invite you to join in!

RibbonsOfWar_MaxMaller_KevinNewlandScott_dirJoshGulotta_photographerChelseaIbarra-1

Land ho! Adventure! Romance! Sea Monsters! Ribbons of War tells the story of the lovely young pilot, Annelies, who abandons her island home to marry a tough and striking sea captain and join the madcap crew of the Good Ship Valiant, a surprisingly warm-hearted psychopath, an innocent and curious couple and an omniscient turtle dove.

RibbonsOfWar_JenniferElkington_BaharBaharloo_JimCraig_DanielEast_dirJoshGulotta_photographerChelseaIbarra-1

POP QUIZ

1. An Artist or Artists in Our Field we Have a Giant Artist Crush On are . . .

All of us: Jay Purdy and the Extraordinaires! They are the foundation of this musical and have been so supportive as we turn their album into a play.

2. A Work That Has Shaped My Artistic Voice Is . . .

Josh: “The Fantasticks. So much of the musical is about theater magic and letting simple things tell bug stories.”

3. When We’re Not Creating Art You Can Often Find Me/Us . . .

All of us: Playing music together.

photo(2)-1
4. Five Songs On My/Our Writing/Painting/Creating Playlist Are . . .

How about one from each of us?

Josh: Tomorrow Gone, by Stew

Andrew: St. Elsewhere, by Gnarls Barkley

Olivia: Farewell Angelina, Wake the Dead

5. A Portland Artist/Creative/Arts Organization we’d Love To Work With Is . . .

All of us: So much support for our show came from Artists Repertory Theatre – we love them!

RibbonsOfWar_JenniferElkington_BaharBaharloo_dirJoshGulotta_photographerChelseaIbarra-1

6. I Am Terrified Of .

Olivia, production manager: “Spiders! A big problem when we’re rehearsing in my garage.”

7. We are Obsessed With . . .

All of us: Ribbons of War!

8. The Books Currently On Our Nightstands are . .

Josh: “Concise History of the Middle of East, by Goldschmidt and Davidson.”

Olivia: “Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte. I wrote my senior thesis on the Brontes and am re-reading!”

9. Three Adjectives That Describe This Work Are . . .

How about three words? “Hearts not parts” – it’s all about love!

BEHIND THE SCENES

1) Tell us about your Fertile Ground Festival work.

Populated by fun and fantastic characters like Sophia the turtledove and Oswald the one handed gunman, Ribbons of War tells two parallel tales of love and tragedy.

First, we are introduced to Darling and Dearest, hopelessly in love and held captive by the Evil Captain Hart, enemy to all those who dare find true love on the seven seas.

While imprisoned, Darling and Dearest are brought scraps of letters, captain logs, and journals by a friendly turtledove, Sophia. The documents belong to Annelies and The Captain, women who meet and immediately elope on The Captain’s ship. These two and their crew set sail, navigate the stormy waters of a new marriage, and battle the Kraken all while Darling and Dearest lose themselves in the story but never forget their own immediate peril.

With fantastic songs by the band The Extraordinaires, Ribbons of War is a camp-filled joyride for the whole family!

RibbonsOfWar_JenniferElkington_dirJoshGulotta_photographerChelseaIbarra-1

2) How did this work come about? What inspired it?

Ribbons of War was originally the bold vision of singer/songwriter Jay Purdy about two lovers, one chained to the sea, and the other to the sky. This particular project began when the director, Josh Gulotta, attended a concert played by The Extraordinaires. Gulotta was enthralled with the music and the vision, and immediately contacted his close collaborator, Andrew Fridae, about writing a play to tell the story sung in Purdy’s music. Gulotta and Fridae are both musicians themselves and have written additional songs to supplement the script. The play has never been produced in this form before, and as such Fertile Ground was the exact opportunity Gulotta and Fridae needed to bring this play to Portland audiences.

3) Talk about your creative process. (How do you work? When do you work? What gets you inspired?)

Josh, director: “The most unique thing about this process for me was Andrew Fridae, whose role in the rehearsal room was both musical director and playwright. We’d be in the rehearsal room, I’d ask Andrew to play some incidental music, and the themes he came up with created an atmosphere for the play to live in. It could feed off the dialogue, and the dialogue could feed off of it.”

 

Wielding the Light Saber January 12, 2011

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 6:31 am
Tags: , ,

BY KAREN ALEXANDER-BROWN

One of the actresses at the audition asks, “How did this musical come about?  What was your inspiration for it?”  We are conducting auditions for BRIDGETOWN, A Musical, a show that will be performed as part of the citywide Fertile Ground Festival in January.  All eyes turn to me, the playwright, in anticipation.

My brain rewinds to over a year ago when I met Fred Stickley at the Fertile Ground Festival’s It Takes All Shorts program.  Fred had just performed a song he had written called “Portland, Oh Portland,” and my short play, called Consumed, was performed in the same program.  Now, at the audition, I reply to the actors that “it was inspired by a song that Fred wrote.”  Ironically, the song that inspired the story (“Northwest 23rd”) is no longer in the show, even though “Portland, Oh Portland” opens and closes the musical.

Fred sits down at the keyboard placed prominently in his living room and says, “Some of these songs don’t have lyrics yet, and the lyrics that we do have are tentative.  We still have to work on them.  Karen and I get together and pull out our sabers and fight over them.”

“Yeah, and they light up, too!”  I add.  During our lyric writing sessions, Fred usually thrusts with a clever line or pretty image, and I parry with character motivation and play structure.  Our sessions are very animated, so much so that the last time we met over lyrics, Fred trashed his computer with a gesture that knocked it off the café table.  Luckily it was backed up.

Fred Stickley performs regularly with his band around the Portland area, and he has quite a following.  In any given week, he packs a crowd into Wilfts in town or into O’Connor’s Vault in Multnomah Village.  In earlier years, he toured the globe playing keyboards for John Hyatt, and since then he has released three CD albums.  Dinah Urell of hipfish describes his style as “Costello, Steely Dan and The Eurythmics— in genre and quality of musical craft.”

My own background includes years of touring the globe with Disney, NBC, operetta, and my own club shows, as well as performing in musicals, industrials, ballets and theatre.  I have published articles on film, and my short plays have appeared at each of the previous Fertile Ground Festivals.  I have taught theatre in both public and private schools, and I currently teach dance for stage at Oregon Children’s Theatre.

The result of our creative battles, called BRIDGETOWN, A Musical, is a celebration of Portland’s uniquely feisty culture and the characters’ struggles to find their place (or not) in the “city of bridges.”  A work-in-progress, it will be presented as a staged reading with live music at Conduit, 918 SW Yamhill, Suite 401, on January 27th, 28th and 29th at 7:30 pm, as part of the 2011 Fertile Ground Festival.  Tickets cost $12, and they may be purchased through boxofficetickets.com or at the door with cash.  The audience is invited to stay for a feedback session following the show, and wine and Voodoo Donuts will be available for purchase.  The show contains adult language and mature themes.

And of course, Fred and I will be available at each feedback session, light sabers in hand, both ready to do battle for the creative muse.