Gateway Theatre in association with Patrick Street Productions
Out of a Dream lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard Rodgers

Dates and Venue April 9 – 25, 2015 at 8pm | Mainstage, Gateway Theatre, Richmond

Director/Choroegraphy Peter Jorgensen Musical Direction Nico Rhodes Costume Design Jessica Bayntun Lighting Design Jeff Harrison Sound Design Bradley Danyluk Stage Manager Anne Taylor

Reviewer John Jane

With a basic set and little in the way of a distinct narrative arc, Peter Jorgensen has fashioned a worthy celebration of the revered Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II songbook.

He certainly has a wealth of outstanding material to choose from. The Rodgers and Hammerstein partnership has produced some of the most successful musicals in careers spreading over a half century starting with Oklahoma in 1943 and including Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music along the way. Jorgensen also includes songs from less auspicious shows such as: “Come Home, Joe” from Allegro, “All at Once” from Pipe Dream, and “Love Look Away” from Flower Drum Song.

Songs that are about courtship, unrequited love, the simple life and being gay (when “gay” just meant being happy) are still drawing people to Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals on both the stage, film and even on television award shows (how many were blown away by Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music at the Oscars this year).

Jorgensen has woven together around thirty-five songs from a dozen of their best (and least) known musicals to create a musical revue that will no doubt appeal to devotees of the golden era of stage musicals.

With triple duty in directing, choreography and performing, Jorgensen’s creative signature is all over Out of a Dream. But it’s not just a salmagundi of show tunes. Alongside talented performers Jenny Anderson, Katie Murphy, Sayer Roberts and Eva Tavares, and with some subtle revisions with the arrangements, he changes the entire context of these songs. Perhaps the most moving example of a song delivered with a brand new perspective is Sayer Roberts and Peter Jorgensen’s poignant duet of “We Kiss in the Shadows” from The King and I.

Each cast member has roughly equal responsibility for singing, dancing and acting, and while the acting demands are pretty minimal, they certainly excel in the other two components.

Out of a Dream is a wonderful way of closing the current season, raising a new standard for 2015-2016.

© 2015 John Jane