Dates

March 8-23, 2013

Author

Stephen Sondheim
& John Weidman

Directors

Wes Driver & Greg Greene

 

 

Story

We thought it was the end of the world.
And it was.

The modern master of musical theater is renowned for Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, and Company. But one of his most compelling works is the rarely produced gem Pacific Overtures.

In 19th century Japan, an unlikely friendship is forged between the samurai Kayama and the Americanized fisherman Manjiro in the wake of a U.S. naval mission to secure trade relations with the reclusive nation. Kayama and Manjiro – and all of Japanese society – must face the wave of Westernization that follows.

Pacific Overtures tells the story of Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853 mission to open trade relations with isolationist Japan through gunboat diplomacy. This innovative show by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman blends the American musical form with elements from Kabuki theater, to present the origin of relations between America and Japan through the eyes of the Japanese.

Pacific Overtures features a gorgeous score and, of course, the peerless lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. Highlights include the soaring “Poems”, the comedic tour-de-force “Please Hello”, the delicate, diabolical “Chrysanthemum Tea”, and its best known song, the beautiful (and chilling) “Pretty Lady”.

Blackbird Theater presents Pacific Overtures just weeks before Nashville’s popular Cherry Blossom Festival, and only days before the one-year anniversary of the devastating tsunami of March 11. The story is a fitting tribute to the strength and the resilient spirit of the Japanese people.

Make your plans to enjoy this must-see theatrical event, one of only a handful of U.S. productions of this musical masterpiece in the next few years.

 

CAST

THE RECITER
Travis Brazil

KAYAMA YESAEMON
Michael Slayton

JOHN MANJIRO
Tyson Lammael

LORD ABE
Chris Bosen

TAMATE
Joann Coleman

THE SHOGUN’S MOTHER (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA)
Nancy Allen

THE MADAM (WELCOME TO KANAGAWA)
Jama Bowen

OLD MAN (SOMEONE IN A TREE), SHOGUN’S PHYSICIAN (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA), FRENCH ADMIRAL
Patrick Kramer

THIEF (FOUR BLACK DRAGONS), WARRIOR (SOMEONE IN A TREE), BRITISH SAILOR (PRETTY LADY)
Mike Baum

FISHERMAN (FOUR BLACK DRAGONS), DUTCH ADMIRAL (PLEASE HELLO)
Scott Rice

OBSERVOR (THERE IS NO OTHER WAY), BRITISH SAILOR (PRETTY LADY), AMERICAN ADMIRAL (PLEASE HELLO)
Will Sevier

BOY (SOMEONE IN A TREE), GIRL (PRETTY LADY)
Maia Cole

THIRD COUNCILOR, BRITISH ADMIRAL (PLEASE HELLO), FENCING MASTER
Brad Oxnam

OBSERVER (THERE IS NO OTHER WAY), PRIEST (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA)
Katherine Sandoval Taylor

GEISHA (WELCOME TO KANAGAWA)
Sydni Hayes

GEISHA (WELCOME TO KANAGAWA), PRIEST (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA)
Evelyn O’Neal Brush

GEISHA (WELCOME TO KANAGAWA), SHOGUN’S WIFE (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA)
Cori Lammael

RUSSIAN ADMIRAL (PLEASE HELLO), SOOTHSAYER (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA)
Larry Brown

SAMURAI, IMPERIAL PRIEST
Joshua Martin

SECOND COUNCILOR
Brad Forrister

FIRST OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. POWHATAN, LORD OF THE SOUTH
Jeremy Maxwell

SECOND OFFICER OF THE U.S.S. POWHATAN, LORD OF THE SOUTH
Andy Kanies

SAMURAI, SHOGUN’S COMPANION (CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA), BRITISH SAILOR (PRETTY LADY)
Tyler Ashley

COMMODORE MATTHEW CALBRAITH PERRY
James Rudolph

VILLAGER, ASSASSIN
Hayden Forrister

VILLAGE CHILDREN (ADVANTAGES, FOUR BLACK DRAGONS, NEXT)
Addison McFarlin, Anna Beth Lasley, Tyler Bond

 

 

 

 

Production

Producers
Greg Greene, Wes Driver

Music Director
Benjamin van Diepen

Choreographer
Kari Smith

Scenic Design
Larry Brown

Lighting Design
David Hardy

Costume Design
Hannah Schmidt

Makeup & Hair Design
Aria Durso

Stage Manager
Bethany Jones

Props Master
Nettie Kraft

Sound design
Donnie Freeman

Dramaturg
Sam Mayer

 

Photo Gallery