Monday, March 12, 2012

'Side Man’ adds a special element to Berks Jazz Fest

  Shoestring Productions in association with Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest and Building 24 will present “Side Man” March 16 through 25. 
  The play by Warren Leight, won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play. It is a tender and emotional memory play about the upheaval in the family of a jazz musician at the dawn of the age of Rock-and-Roll.  
  Performances are March 16, 17, and March 23 at 7 p.m.; March 18 and March 25 at 3 p.m. The doors open 2 hours prior to each performance for dining and drinking. A jazz quintet, The Ken Blekicki Five, will play one hour prior to performance.
   Side Manis a cinematic play, moving fluidly between 1953 and 1985. The life of jazz musician Gene Glimmer and his wife Terry is revealed to us through the eyes of their son, Clifford. As Gene and his fellow jazz sidemen hang blindly to a musical time threated with extinction by the advent of the age of Rock and Roll, Clifford struggles to keep his family together, both emotionally and financially. Clifford narrates the tale not only of the breakdown of a family, but also the end of a musical era, as with the appearance of Elvis and Rock-and-Roll, the jazz greats are brushed aside and forgotten. This story is Clifford’s homage to, and condemnation of, a bygone era; with its telling, Clifford is at last able to escape his past, and to live his own riff on life.
   “Side Manfeatures Dallas Mugno as Clifford, Richard Bradbury as Gene, and Tama McConnell as Terry. The rest of the ensemble includes Michael Harbach (Ziggy), Daniel Smith (Jonesy), Jamie Howard (Al), and Kathy Newville (Patsy).
  The show is directed by Kirk Lawrence, with John Gancar serving as assistant director and stage manager. Ken Blekicki is music consultant.
   “Side Man” will be presented at Building 24 Kitchen and Bar, which will be transformed into a jazz club with table and chair seating. A jazz quintet, The Ken Blekicki Five, will play 45 minutes prior to the show. Drinks will be available from the lounge bar. Dining is available in the Building 24 or The Works restaurant. Please visit for more information.
   Tickets are $25. Seating is unreserved.
 For tickets, visit the tickets page at Tickets are also available by phone – 610-777-2310  or in person at CD Exchange, 360 E. Wyomissing Ave., Mohnton, Pa. CD Exchange is open Tuesday through Saturday during regular business hours.
 Building 24 is located at 1115 Bern Rd. in Wyomissing, next to The Works. 

   The production is rated PG-13 for  strong language and adult situations.


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