By Richard Lambert
Original Music by
Directed by Drew McCabe
The New Phoenix Theatre On The Park, whose mission is “to present new and classic plays in ways that speak to our community and to rediscover the theatrical experience through the spirit of collaboration”, presented a world premiere of a new work with music by Executive Director Richard Lambert, the creator of last year’s hit SWEET STREET.
Like SWEET STREET, which was centered outside a Buffalo soup kitchen (one incarnation of the New Phoenix Theatre’s historic home was a soup kitchen), FILLMORE focused on Buffalo’s disinherited citizens, and is set in a boarding house on Fillmore Avenue. Here residents find themselves unable to move either forwards or backwards while attempting to survive the trap of one of Buffalo’s most neglected neighborhoods.
FILLMORE continues to explore Lambert’s preoccupation with Buffalo’s disenchanted citizens, and, like the theatre itself (which stands on land deeded to Buffalo by the city’s first mayor, Ebenezer Johnson, and which incorporates service to the lower West Side as part of its artistic mission), seeks to celebrate and serve the neglected communities of one of America’s poorest cities. A special benefit performance on Sunday, 22nd May, at 7.30PM, will therefore benefit Friends of the Night.
FILLMORE was written in collaboration with composer-in-residence Steve Borowski, whose music helps dramatize the stories of Fillmore Avenue’s residents, and is directed by Drew McCabe. The cast included Kathleen Ashwill (who is also the show’s cellist), Wendy Hall, Mary Moebius, Marshall Maxwell, Crescenzo Scipione, Marshall Maxwell, Carmen Swans, and Jenny Kulwicki.
Lighting was by Franklin LaVoie, costumes by Betsy Bittar, and sound by John Shotwell.