Brother Can You Spare a Dime
At the Triad Theater, 158 W 72nd
Conceived and directed by Bill Daugherty
Produced by Max Weintraub
Arrangements and musical direction by Doyle Newmyer
Featuring Bill Daugherty, Deborah Tranelli, Alexander Elisa, Christina Morrell, Jennafer Newberry, Morgan West
Band: Doyle Newmyer, Spiff Weigand, John Loeherke.
They say those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it… Well, if this is true, then the entire nation needs to get down to the Triad to see this show of Depression-era songs put together masterfully by Bill Daugherty.
This show is an incredible opportunity to see our last great economic abomination through the eyes of the composers and performers of the day. The show has a narrative exploring a wide range of human experience through song (and dance), tracing the history of the unfolding of the crisis through the eyes of participants at all levels of society and all walks of life.
In this remarkable reconstruction of the music of an era, it has come to life again for our re-examination, education, and possible rescue – if we pay attention to its message. It’s a chronicle of the emotional experience of the Great Depression through the voices of those who lived it. As such, it’s a remarkable living document.
This is also a show, happening now, with real live contemporaries of ours onstage singing and playing their hearts out, and their sense of the power of the work and the value of their mission communicates through the dedication and commitment they bring to their work on the stage, and that goes for every performer mentioned above.
Standout performances were Bill Daugherty’s impassioned reliving of the show’s title song “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” Deborah Tranelli’s jaded yet sultry read of “Ten Cents a Dance,” and Alexander Elisa’s visionary “Dusty Road.” The show evokes the pain of the era, but also the solutions, leading to a final medley of inspirational Americana that became the themes for the country’s emergence from the long years of darkness.
Run, don’t walk, to the Triad Theater to see this wonderful piece.
– Jon Burr