“[title of show],” now appearing at the Weathervane Playhouse, takes an entertaining look at playwriting and the creative process. The one-act musical centers on an author and composer working toward a deadline for the New York Musical Festival; the production charts its own creation with uniquely self-aware references, along with taking pokes at theatre clichés.
“They step outside of the fourth wall and they realize they’re in the play many times,” said Director Kevin Lambes, a veteran performer, choreographer, and director. “They end up writing about the process of writing.”
He added: “It’s about four friends working together. It’s about the process of being creative, which is challenging. It’s about sticking to what you think is right with regard to your creative process.”
“[title of show]” has appeared Off Broadway, on Broadway and as a YouTube video series. “There’s a ton of material because of the way they went to Broadway,” said Lambes, who added that despite its rich background, the production is minimalist in nature. “It’s a tiny show: four chairs and a keyboard. Even on Broadway, its set was just a back wall and a door. The piano player is on stage as a character, and the only music you have is the keyboard.”
And as “[title of show]” was being developed, it gained a fervent following, especially among famous actors and musical theater buffs, he added.
Lambes, who has lived in New York and traveled the country doing theatre, said Weathervane holds a special place for him. After moving back to the Akron area to start a family, he took a 15-year break from theatre, which was broken when a friend talked him into auditioning for a performance: “Music Man” at Weathervane. And six years later, he’s been involved in a number of Weathervane productions.
“The level of work they do, the professionalism, the facility: it’s all top notch,” Lambes added.
This is also one of the first productions hosted by, rather than produced by, Weathervane Playhouse. In this case, Title of Show, Akron is the producer, and Weathervane provides rehearsal and performance space as well as technical and promotional assistance.
The “[title of show]” schedule also features a special Monday night performance, April 29, for Service Industry Night, catering to those who work in restaurants and other service jobs (Lambes, as well, currently works in the restaurant industry.)
“We’re going to play Broadway Reference Bingo and we’ll be giving out a flat screen TV,” he said. “I went through the script and got as many oblique narrow references as I could and put them on Bingo cards.’”
Title of Show Akron, in partnership with Weathervane Playhouse, presents “[title of show]” in Weathervane’s intimate Dietz Theater April 25 through May 4. Show times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. There is one performance on Monday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased by calling (330) 836-2626 or visiting www.weathervaneplayhouse.com.