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      SINGING WITH THE STEINWAY by Thomas Putnam

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      In case you haven't heard, HG is opening an on-stage, live-audience show next week, May 7. It's a play we've considered in the past and it never seemed the right time to produce. Now is the right time. It's a wonderful play with three delightful senior citizen characters...and one young man who just happens to sing.

      We rehearsed last night at the Baptist church in Blossburg because that's where Adam Mahonski hangs out with his beautiful Steinway. Adam is going to record all the piano accompaniment for the songs sung in the play, and John Tobey Jr will sing them live in each performance. This piano has quite a story and Adam would be glad to share that journey. He is also eager to share the piano and its beautiful sound with as many people as possible.

      John is a graduating senior from MU and we found him by way of the faculty recommendations. He's a personable young man and is ready to burst into song at the slightest suggestion.

      Last night in Blossburg we worked through the many arias in the play. The playwright Joe DiPietro suggests titles in the script and we followed some of those suggestions, but came up with others we felt were better for us. The choice of music in a play is one of my favorite (and time-consuming) projects and this show provided hours of listening to great music. We settled on a few that John already knew and a few that were brand new to him. Even with a short time-frame, he was up for anything. And did I mention that all of them are sung in Italian?

      Gary Fizzano and Kathryn Sheneman were there because some of the music must weave in and out of dialogue so the timing is crucial. We worked through each piece, Adam taking notes on when to repeat or vamp or cue or whatever was needed for it all to fit together. John was game to sing each piece as many times as we needed to work it all together.

      It's not often such music is included in a stage play. It's not often one has the generous efforts of an accomplished pianist sharing his talents and his piano. It's not often one finds a young man with such a voice who is willing to commit to play in a small theatre with reduced seating in a very small town in rural PA. But...this time the stars align and my life is enriched and empowered. Please let us share this experience with you. Opening night, May 7, is a “vaccinated only” performance, with five more performances on May 8, 9, 14, 15, 16. All reservations must be in advance; no tickets sold at the door. Wear a mask. Get a FlexPass. This is good stuff.

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