The Theatre at Arts Garage will reprise its Summer Tune-Up series with the funny yet angst-ridden musical Mother, Me and the Monsters on August 8, followed by Judge Jackie Justice on August 15, both showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Presented in concert reading format, where professional actors take to a blank stage, scripts in hand, and the band moves through the musical selections, putting the onus of scenery and costume on the theatergoers’ imaginations.
The pared-down production of these two musicals allows the Theatre to bring some of the best and brightest new American musical works to the public, while giving the Theatre a chance to test-the-waters with a new piece. As Artistic Director Lou Tyrrell puts it, “it’s a win-win. It’s wonderful for our audience to experience some of the best small musicals being written today and it’s valuable for Arts Garage to see which new works it might want to fully produce in a subsequent season.”
The concert readings are followed by question and answer sessions with the audience and Theatre staff, allowing for instant feedback to help shape the final product. Below we offer a brief look at the two musicals on the docket for the Theatre at Arts Garage’s 2014 Summer Tune-Up Series.
Mother, Me and the Monsters | Friday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Written by Sam Salmond, with music by Will Aronson – the same composer behind the Arts Garage’s spring production The Trouble with Doug – Mother, Me and the Monsters tells the true story of Sam and his mother as she navigates them through four marriages and three divorces. The turmoil put on Sam, and the abuse at the hands of his “dads,” turns him to seek solace and advise from the monster under his bed.
Judge Jackie Justice | August 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Written by Christopher Dimond with music by Michael Kooman, Judge Jackie Justice skewers just about everything that’s wrong with the concept of televised court shows – a la “Judge Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown,” “The People’s Court.” Title character Judge Jackie is a no-nonsense kind of magistrate, presiding over some of the most chaotic and hilarious civil suites around the country. But as mayhem ensues, ratings drop, forcing Judge Jackie to deal with her own faltering personal life.