BROOKLYN BUZZ: Bay Ridge musical brings the Sixties back in grand style

November 4, 2011 Heather Chin
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Golden Oldies are definitely making a comeback, with local bandsand fundraisers featuring them prominently in their shows. But inthe upcoming A Sixties Kind of Love: A Musical TaleBay Ridge Jewish Center

It’s a story of a young couple that met right here in Brooklyn50 years ago… It’s a story without dialogue, with two narratorshere and there, with some social commentary, said Linda Arezzo,who co-wrote the musical over two months this summer with fellowdirector James Martinelli. We started talking about the girlgroups of the early 1960s [and] it popped up at me that severalsongs had a story. We didn’t want to do just a variety show – wewanted a thread to run through it to make it more cohesive.

The show is a joint production by The Strivelli Players, ofwhich Arezzo is a founding member, and Ridge Repertory Company. Itfeatures a cast of almost 30 actors ranging from 16 to 61 years oldthat include prominent locals such as Alex Amarosa and 2011 SeniorIdol Eddie Gentile, and is inspired by the structure of Billy Joeland Twyla Tharp’s Broadway musical Movin’ Out – telling the storyas ballet or opera would, without dialogue… stringing togethersongs from the period of 1960 to 1965, said Arezzo.

Of the collaboration, co-producer Ruth Masyr, of RidgeRepertory, noted that this is the first time her company has done ashow with another group, but that it came naturally.

Strivelli Players has a very long history and we just feltwe’re all friends, we overlap in our work together, and it’d be agood idea, said Masyr. Upbeat attracts audiences [and] we feltthat at this point in time, everyone could use a fun evening. It’sgoing to be a good time. There will be dancing in the audience andthe cast will be throughout the audience, too.

If you love sixties music and want to hear it again live,there’s terrific talent and will be a big party, hearing yourfavorite songs of the ‘60s, Masyr added.

A live band will be performing music arranged by music directorJoe DeRanieri, while actors will be dancing to choreography set byMartinelli, a dance instructor in Brooklyn Heights who often workswith southern Brooklyn theater groups.

James’s choreography is light and bubbly and captures theperiod wonderfully, gushed Arezzo. And Joe plays by ear; he isable to invent harmonies and adjust it on the spot.

A Sixties Kind of Love: A Musical Tale will be playing at 8p.m. over the next three Saturdays – November 5, 12 and 19 – aswell as at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 6, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday,November 13 and 20. Tickets cost $20 and can be reserved by calling718-907-3422 or by emailing [email protected].

All shows will be held at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center at thecorner of Fourth Avenue and 81st Street. As at all Ridge Repertoryshows, refreshments – grilled kosher hot dogs – will be availableas well.

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