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Mason Warrington Orchestra celebrates Veterans Day

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Mason Warrington Orchestra

On Sunday, November 11 at 2PM The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is planning a tribute to World War II with the Mason Warrington Orchestra returning once again to play the hits of that bygone era. But sometimes you have to be high tech to harken back to the past. That’s what Mason Warrington Musical Director and saxophonist Hank Slechta discovered while coming up with a show that would equal or surpass last year’s success.

Last year it was a packed house and it was the best show we’ve ever done there. It was very well received,” Slechta said. “Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I came up with enough material [for this year’s show] without repeating anything from last year for another tribute to WWII.

The 15-piece orchestra with two vocalists, whose members range in age from 28 to 80, will transport audiences back to a turning point in the history of the world, this nation and popular music.

[World War II] was the Big Band era, sort of toward the end of it. At that point there were 600 bands traveling the country all in cars or on buses,” Slechta said. “Musicians getting drafted and traveling being made difficult because of rationing … WWII just kind of put an end to that and the singers then took over. The singers became the big thing and the band was just there to back them up.

Slechta said the audience can look forward to such hits as The Andrews Sisters’ Rum & Coca-Cola and Glenn Miller’s Jeep Jockey Jump as well as GI Jive and Bell Bottom Trousers and many more.

And while Slechta was just a small boy when the big band era was wrapping up, it’s music has stayed with him.

I’ve been director [of the Mason Warrington Orchestra big band] for 25 years,” he said. “Hard to believe, but time flies when you’re having fun.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

November 11 at 2 PM

Comedian Andy Pitz Visits Firehouse Stage

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Comedian Andy Pitz

Goodwill Theatre will offer an acclaimed one-man comedy show at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City on Friday, November 9 at 7pm.

When comedian Andy Pitz appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, he thought he had finally ‘arrived.’ Pitz, a Buffalo native who now lives outside of New York City with his wife and six-year-old daughter, had been performing standup comedy for 12 years and had put a Letterman appearance square in his sights.

It used to be that if a comic was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, that was it. That was the Golden Ticket. Because at that time there were three TV stations and one Johnny Carson,” he said. “I wanted to be on Conan or Letterman and that was the goal I gave myself and it took about a year and a half to accomplish that, after being in comedy for 12 years.

Pitz was in for a big surprise. There was no Golden Ticket. “I was so excited and I thought it was a career maker and I started shopping myself around agencies in New York, aiming for the bigger ones,” Pitz said, adding that he got many congratulations but nobody who signed him on. “It takes a lot more than that to get recognition now.

However, a late night TV appearance is still far from a time waster. “It is a shorthand way of people putting you in a different category of comedian,” Pitz said. “It’s almost the first thing people want to know, have you ever been on television.

And while Pitz may not be a household name, he enjoys a very busy and thriving career as a full time comedian and will appear, with his opening act, comedian Kendra Cunningham, at 7 p.m., Friday, November 9 at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

One of the challenges for any comedian is coming up with a comedy routine that is not, in fact, routine.

Getting married and especially having a child is just this whole treasure trove. I don’t really sit down and write anymore. Things my wife says and things my daughter says, they come out almost 80 percent done,” he said. “I could easily do 45 minutes of nothing but marriage jokes. But I don’t want to bore myself or the audience. I try not to do too much of one topic,” he said.

Pitz also doesn’t subscribe to the idea that comedians need to be political.

If you don’t talk about politics, it’s almost as if, as a comedian, you are disappointing a certain segment of the comedy world,” he said.  “Anything political, anything even remotely divisive, just doesn’t go with the rest of what I am doing.

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. The show’s content may not be appropriate for anyone under 18. Parental discretion is advised.

 

November 9 at 7 PM

Tapestry:Tribute to Carole King

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For pianist Jeannie Austin, a tribute show to the music and life of legendary singer songwriter Carole King was an idea whose time had come.

It started off as a duo of myself and Ori (Huberman) as a simple little duo, hey, do you wanna learn some Carole King songs and be the opening act for a show?” Austin said. “We did that and it went over so well. And then the agents found us in NY and it evolved from a guitar and a piano – very acoustic and unplugged – to now having six members and full on production with a script, monologues, graphics and visuals, dancing. It’s not just a band, it’s a production.

Austin, Huberman and the rest of that production will be appearing in Johnson City as Tapestry: Tribute to Carole King takes the stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4  at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage.

We are all musicians and we all play in different bands and we’ve all played in the tribute scene, but this situation was different because nobody else was doing it, thank goodness, and agents found us at a time that was perfect,” Austin said.  “[The multiple Tony Award-winning musical]Beautiful had just come out and Carole King had just gotten  honors (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Gershwin Prize and Kennedy Center Honors in 2015) and was experiencing a huge resurgence. The timing was right and every show was sold out.

The list of hit songs King either wrote or co-wrote is extensive and many were huge hits for other artists, too, including (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural WomanYou’ve Got a FriendUp on the RoofTake Good Care of My BabySome Kind of Wonderful, So Far Away and Pleasant Valley Sunday.

I say at the beginning that I bet everybody knows every song that we play tonight” Austin said. “And they do!

What’s more Austin said these songs, together with the monologues and storytelling and visuals strike more than musical chords; they strike emotional chords.

It makes it more intimate because we have pictures of her from throughout her career, and her private life and her musical life that really have an impact on the songs we are playing, images that are specific to that song, so it really has an emotional impact,” Austin said. “People really appreciate it. After every show we do a meet and greet and people are really appreciative.

Austin says she feels lucky to be doing what she is doing.

We are very happy to be playing those songs because it makes us happy and it makes a lot of people happy,” she said. “These songs are huge in people’s lives. It’s pretty great.

Tickets to Tapestry: Tribute  to Carole King are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

Interactive Fairy Tales come to Firehouse

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Crossover fairy tales are nothing new. From “Into the Woods” to “Shrek” there’s something about seeing the familiar characters we grew up with interacting with each other. But Page Turner Adventures fresh twist on a classic idea includes the most important character of all: the audience. You can be part of Page Turner Adventures’ Mixed Up Fairy Tale at 11AM and 2PM on Saturday, November 3  at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City.

It is an original fractured fairy tale that we wrote. We do supersized stories so we’re not doing a play,” said Riley Roam, who plays Page Turner, narrator storyologist at large.  “What we’re doing is an interactive story where the entire audience becomes the main character in the story, so they are standing up, sitting down, running in place, interacting directly with the characters helping us solve the problems and figure out what to do. They’re not sitting. We never have an issue with that. We never have cranky kids that want to go, because they are involved the entire time. They’re not just sitting quietly. It’s a ton of fun.

Together with her husband, Kenny Mikey, Roam has created a tale in which the sleeping spell on Sleeping Beauty (played by Mikey) can be broken only by finding a few things around Storyville, like, oh, say a red cape with a hood and some wolf fur (now, wherever could one find such things).

Roam is an Emmy Award winning writer, producer, and host for FOX Kids for six years. She’s also written, produced, and hosted segments for the Travel Channel, Scholastic, The International Reading Association, The Collaborative Summer Reading Program, and PBS. Kenny is an award-winning video producer, director, and editor, and he has one other special credential: he graduated from Clown College. No, really. He did. And he joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as a clown.

It’s circus and storytelling combined,” Roam said.  “There is a ton of humor. That’s something that people tell us all the time.” Something Roam does not subscribe to, however, is the idea that humor has to be off-color or risqué to appeal to adults. She said she feels kids ‘get’ a lot more than we may think they do.

The adults always say, ‘I laughed so hard, I was not expecting to have so much fun,’” she said. “So the kids are getting it on one level and the adults are enjoying it, too.

Roam said doing these shows absolutely never gets old. Not even close.

I love when the kids are absolutely with me. I can see it in their faces when they are imagining a beanstalk and they’re climbing the beanstalk and they’re in the clouds,” she said.  “It thrills me and I have been doing this for years and we have done this show a thousand times and every time I still get chills when they are totally with me and their imaginations are turned on.

As for the kids’ favorite part?

The giant,” Roam says with a laugh, describing the ten-foot tall cowboy giant with huge hands, played by her husband. “That’s our signature character that we are known for.

Roam is happy to share the limelight. The Giant steals the show faster than you can say ‘beanstalk.’

 “I am out there the whole time doing all of this stuff,” she said with a chuckle. “And then all they remember is the giant when he comes out.

Tickets for “Mixed Up Fairy Tales are $10 for adults and $8 for kids, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

 

November 3 at 11 AM

 

 

 

 

 

November 3 at 2 PM

Teacher turned comedian in hilarious show

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Lucas Bohn

Goodwill Theatre will offer an acclaimed one-man comedy show at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City on Friday, October 26 at 7pm.

Lesson Plans to Late Night” is a one-man comedy show about Lucas Bohn’s transition from elementary school teacher to national touring comedian. The show combines traditional live standup comedy with visual images. The show was called “a comedic multimedia masterpiece” and “hysterical” by Parade Magazine.

Lesson Plans to Late Night” is focused on the hilarious things children say and do, and includes stories of real-life experiences with Bohn’s own family – he and his wife, who is also a teacher, have a daughter, Ella. Features include kids’ hilarious answers from homework and tests, and a story about flawlessly impersonating a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

“If you’ve ever worked with children or have kids or grandkids, this is the perfect show for you,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “Teachers will definitely not want to miss this hilarious and relatable performance.”

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

Lucas Bohn tours over 45 weeks a year and headlines shows at colleges, theaters and on cruise ships all over the globe. He has shared the stage with Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Fallon, and Kevin Hart. In 2013 Lucas was nominated for “Comedian of the Year” by Campus Activities Magazine. Lucas placed runner-up in the Magners Comedy Festival and was awarded “Best of the Fest” at the Detroit Comedy Festival.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

October 26 at 7 PM

 

 

 

 

lucasbohn.com

Acclaimed psychic Phil Jordan to appear at Firehouse

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Goodwill Theatre will host a Phil Jordan event at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in Johnson City on Saturday, October 27 at 8pm.

Phil Jordan

Phil Jordan is an acclaimed psychic who has successfully aided law enforcement with a variety of cases. His appearance at the Firehouse Stage will include general readings on individuals Jordan randomly selects from the audience, aura readings, and specific questions from audience members.

Tickets are $25, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

“Right before Halloween is the perfect time to experience the paranormal for yourself,” said Naima Kradjian, Goodwill Theatre CEO. “Phil has been a professional psychic for over forty years and is extremely well-regarded in his field.”

One of the earliest tests of Jordan’s psychic ability occurred in 1975, when a six-year old boy became lost in the dense woods of Upstate New York. Within one hour after beginning his search, Phil successfully led a search team to the frightened little boy who had been missing for 17 hours, after two hundred searchers were unsuccessful in their attempts. Shortly thereafter, the Tioga County Sheriff had him sworn in as a Deputy to assist in other cases. He graduated from New York State Municipal Police Training Academy in 1976, and continues to work with the police agencies in all levels of government across the country. His cases include missing persons, homicide, and arson. His investigative skills and unusual abilities have earned him respect throughout all the consulting police agencies. Many of his accomplishments and successes have been documented in television episodes on Court TV/Tru TV, Biography, A&E and other major networks in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Europe and Africa.

Jordan holds an Associates Degree from Corning Community College and a Bachelors Degree from the State University of New York at Brockport. He has a Master’s degree from Elmira College. He is Pastor-in-Charge of a small country church, the Caroline Center Church, in Caroline Center, NY, after having been ordained as a non-denominational Inter-Faith Minister. He is the author of the self-help book “I Knew This Day Would Come: A Personal Journey to Psychic Self-Awareness” and the educational children’s book “Mrs. Quigley Died One Day”.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

October 27 at 8 PM

Sherrie Maricle and Five Play to Perform & Record

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Sherrie Maricle & Five Play

For bandleader and percussionist Sherrie Maricle, returning to her hometown to perform is always special and the Endicott native will be performing with Tomoko Ohno (piano), Noriko Ueda(bass), Jami Dauber (trumpet) and Janelle Reichman (tenor sax and clarinet) as Five Play at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM on October 13 at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage.

Five Play is the longtime sister group of the Diva Jazz Orchestra,” Maricle said of the quintet offshoot of the acclaimed all-women jazz orchestra which just celebrated 25 years. “It’s the rhythm section from the big band, plus two of our featured soloists, Jami Dauber on trumpet and Janelle Reichman on tenor sax and clarinet.”

Five Play has performed at many of the most prestigious concert halls, music festivals, universities and jazz clubs in the United States, including Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. The group has also performed at major festivals in Israel, Japan, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. In 2004 the quintet and its members were highly ranked in Downbeat Magazine’s Annual Readers’ Poll.

For Maricle, however, this particular gig at the Firehouse Stage has an important distinction.

“I am always looking for opportunities and the right kind of spark to do our new recordings and we’re doing a new recording at the Firehouse Stage. We’re recording both shows hopefully with the idea of putting them both into a new Live at the Firehouse Stage CD. That’s a huge deal,” Maricle said.  “It’s just been so many years since I have recorded in my hometown and that’s just always really special for me for so many reasons. The foundation for everything I do today came from growing up in the Tri-Cities area. So the CD will be out in the world and my hometown will be part of it and I am really happy about it.”

Maricle said the show will consist of Five Play’s unique blend of reimagined standards and jazz songbook standards and a couple of their original compositions, which are more about entertaining the listener rather than challenging the listener.

“With our original music, the emphasis is always on great melody. You gotta have a great groove, it’s gotta swing, it’s gotta feel good and make people smile,” Maricle said. “Sometimes listening to certain kinds of contemporary jazz can be incredibly challenging, especially if it is very avant garde, because it takes a certain kind of ear and aptitude to appreciate that, and while I can appreciate It as a professional performer, it’s not always my personal favorite thing to listen to. I’ve never been attracted to that as an artist myself. My objective is to entertain people. I want people to walk away feeling happy and inspired and snapping their fingers on two and four.” 

Tickets for Sherrie Maricle & Five Play Live Recording show are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City.

For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit the Theatre online at goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage, or visit the Theatre online at www.goodwilltheatre.net, or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage.

October 13 at 2 PM

 

 

 

 

October 13 at 8 PM

The Rat Pack Era with Steven Nanni!

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Steven Nanni

Tenor Steven Nanni, to perform Rat Pack era jazz and popular standards with Retro Lounge at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage on Friday, October  5 at 7 PM and Sunday, October 7 at 2PM. Nanni’s performance is a part of the Goodwill Theatre’s 2018-19 Season, sponsored by M&T Bank and IBM.

“Last time Steven Sang Italian Favorites at the firehouse and he brought the house down. He is charming and funny in addition to being a wonderful singer! It will be a real treat.” says Naima Kradjian.

“For this show, I want to take the audience on a musical tour to the days of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,” said Nanni.

Binghamton audiences may know Nanni from his work with Binghamton’s Downtown Singers, Catskill Choral Society, Catskill Symphony, the Summer Savoyards, Tri-Cities Opera, and many local churches.

Tenor Steven Nanni was described as “a world-class tenor who has natural musicality, artistic instinct and vocal talent…” by the Irish Times, and “a singer from the old school of bel canto and expressive line; a complete musical instrument and artist” by Juilliard professor Nico Castel.

Steven’s engagements include over 25 leading roles in opera and oratorio such as Alfredo in Verdi’s la traviata; Tito in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Tamino in Die Zauberflote; Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia; Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. Oratorios include Bach’s Magnificat; Mass in B Minor, and St. Matthew Passion; Haydn’s Creation; Handel’s Messiah; Mozart’s Requiem; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Bruckner’s Te Deum, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Steven has also appeared in light opera, art song and lieder recitals with piano accompaniment and full orchestral format. Appearances include New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Performing Arts Center, Florida Philharmonic, La Lirica di Venezia, Opera Company of Dublin, Ireland, Liederkranz Hall (NYC), the Juilliard School, Delaware Valley Opera, Binghamton Philharmonic and Tri-Cities Opera.

Steven attended the Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano Internazionale under the direction of Guido Salvetti. Steven also attended the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, where he studied with Soprano, Renata Scotto. Steven has also been a student and colleague of the celebrated diva Montserrat Caballe and under the baton of Placido Domingo at the Washington National Opera, including its young artists program.

Steven is professor of Vocal Methods, artist in residence, and director of the opera program at Hartwick College, Oneonta NY. Steven currently serves on the faculty of the Narnia Arts Academy in Umbria Italy, and maintains a private voice studio in Binghamton NY, and in New York City.

Tickets for Steven Nanni’s Retro Lounge show are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City.

For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit the Theatre online at goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage, or visit the Theatre online at www.goodwilltheatre.net, or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage.

October 5 at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

October 7 at 2:00 p.m.

Hillbilly Silly Scientist Returns with Dino-Myte Theories

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The Dyno-Myte Theories

Last Year’s Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular Backyard Boom tour was such a success that Dr. Cletus Beaker is back at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage for a return engagement and this time he’s talking Dinosaurs at The Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular: The Dino-Myte Theories  at 11AM and 2PM: Oct 5.

Beaker, who is, in fact Curt Strutz, has been in the ‘edutainment’ business for more than ten years but decided to make it his full-time career when things started looking not-so-bright for the mortgage business.

 “I was a full-time wholesale rep for a mortgage company and I was a part time children’s entertainer on the side. Little shows on the weekend. But I could see the writing on the wall. You could see it coming,” Strutz said of the looming mortgage crisis.

“I quit my job doing that about two or three weeks before the market tanked. I took my part time hobby made it into a full time job and jumped ship right before the industry crashed and burned, so I got out at the right time.”

Now, if you were wondering how, exactly, the combination of rural America and science came about, Struts was in the right place at the right time for that, too.

“I was working at a county fair in the middle of Iowa and I was sharing the stage with a science show and a bluegrass band,” he said. “So I’d sit there doing my show and I’d watch the science guy go up there, and then he’d be done and the bluegrass band would kick off with their guitars and mandolins and I thought, it would just be really funny to have a hillbilly-themed science show.”

Strutz wasted no time putting his idea together.

“Before that fair was over I had sat down and written up a script, had all the ideas put together and within twelve months was running the show,” he said. “It was crazy how it came together and it’s taken off better than any show I have ever done before as far as kids entertainment goes. It’s been a hoot.”

Strutz still handles 100% of his shows, from sets and scripts to costumes and bookings. He said his latest educational creation, The Dino-Might Theories, has been a roaring success.

“The kids go nuts with the dinosaurs we have all new experiments different from the other show. More fun big stage things. We go over the different theories of how dinosaurs may have gone extinct,” he said. “So one of the primary theories is of a giant meteorite hitting the planet, there’s a theory about volcanic activity, there’s the Ice Age…  all these different theories, so we explore each one of those through different science experiments.”

Those experiments include a catapult to launch ‘meteorites’ across the stage, explosions with liquid nitrogen, high-shooting geyser volcanoes and, yes, tornadoes.

“We’re going to create two tornados on stage, a miniature one out of fire and a gigantic one out of toilet paper. All kinds of stuff. It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s non-stop, fast-paced, high-energy and character-driven, with music in the background. It’s not just a science teacher, it’s a production.”

Because who can resist a gigantic toilet paper tornado? To hear Strutz tell it, sometimes kid stuff isn’t just kid stuff.

“The parents have just as much fun,” he said.

Sponsored by NYSEG, Tickets for The Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular: The Dino-Might Theories $10 for adults and $8 for kids/students/seniors, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

www.hillbillysillycience.com

October 6 at 11:00 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

October 6 at 2:00 p.m.

City of Dreams brings Mambo Funk poetry and music

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For one night only, Johnson City will become the City of Dreams as award-winning poet musician David Gonzalez and the Poetic License Band bring his fabulous musical vision to the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage at 5:00 p.m., Sunday, September 23.

David Gonzalez/ City of Dreams

City of Dreams unites poetry with Latin jazz, but it’s more than that. Hearing the poetry’s easy references to New York City and the richness of the Latin beats might lead to the conclusion that the City of Dreams is in fact the Big Apple, but it is not. It is a city made of dreams, not filled with them, and Gonzalez and his musicians make it a one-of-a-kind musical and theatrical experience.

 “When I say ‘city of dreams,’ I am looking at the place where dreams gather,” said the Bronx-raised Gonzalez, who added that the show is probably only 20 percent about New York City. “It’s where our dreams, your dreams, my dreams, our neighbors’ dreams, where they intersect, or connect or become mutual, or mutually empowering…or not. So, that’s sort of universal. And yes, there are some parts that really nail it to the city, too.”

Gonzalez, whose many honors include commissions for the Kennedy Center, engagements at London’s Royal National Theatre and a Drama Desk nomination, considers how best to describe his show, which others have described as a “diamond in a mambo/funk music box.”

“It’s spoken word, Latin jazz. It’s a mix. But it’s all blended together. It isn’t like music, then poetry.  It’s really entwined. It’s as if the voice is the fifth instrument,” he said. “ ’Latin Jazz’…you can do that in quotes because we dip into some gospel, some funk, some more abstract music and it ranges from the most achingly tender to quite expansive and powerful. It’s poetry you can dance to. There are a couple of places where the poetry stops and the music just percolates.”

And that percolating isn’t done by just anybody. Gonzalez is joined onstage by some very accomplished musicians who share his vision…and his groove.

“The music is very specific and sophisticated and the musicians are a quartet of top shelf musicians, just hard-hitting, soulful, New York Latin jazz veterans. Each of these players has a stellar biography. They all have toured the world. They are all masters in their own right,” he said. “The band has been together for so many years, so it’s really nimble. That’s one of the sweet things about it. It’s not a packaged type thing. The [Poetic License Band] just follows me as I read what the audience sends to me.” 

 “I do many different projects and this is the one I have the most fun at. Just to be in the musical embrace of these master musicians is one of the greatest joys of my life as an artist. It’s So. Much. Fun,” he said. “My objective is to meet the audience where they are and then, together, to lift us up to a place of greater perception, greater joy, stronger community. Through the particular and into the universal. That’s really where I’m at.”

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students, and can be purchased online at goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301. The David Gonzales and City of Dreams is the first performance in the next decade of entertainment at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage sponsored by M&T Bank and IBM.

The Schorr Family Firehouse Stage is located on the corner of Corliss Avenue and Willow Street in Johnson City. For more information, contact the Goodwill Theatre Box Office at: (607) 772-2404, ext. 301, or visit: goodwilltheatre.net or facebook.com/SchorrFamilyFirehouseStage

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