Once again, the indefatigable Pam Tucker, the doyenne of SALOS, has produced a quality musical production after 15 long Covid-19 -enforced months, at their spiritual home, the Tower Arts Theatre. This show “The New Moon” billed as “a Romantic Musical Play,” contains music by Sigmund Romberg, libretto and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab.
The complex plot of this piece combines the politics of revolutionary France in the late 18th Century, with the romance of a beautiful aristocratic maiden, Marietta and her secretive Robert, posing as a bond- servant but in reality, also an aristocrat.
This production is complete with costumes, by Cyndy Trezise (and Pam Tucker), redolent of late 18th Century European fashion, many familiar tunes of a past era and a delightful little nine piece orchestra under the baton of Kate White, plus of course, many fine singers and performers making up a lively ensemble.
As is customary with most SALOS productions on the rather tight Tower Arts stage, the stage settings are minimalist which gives maximum opportunity for movement of the large cast.
The opening song of the show “Dainty Wisp of a Thistledown”, showcases the singing talents of the entire ensemble, shows us the fine costumes we have come to expect, and we hear for the first time the excellent nine piece orchestra.
As Julie, forever seeking to land her man, Dione Baker gives a funny, eye-catching performance, together with her compelling voice.
Similarly, Andrew James is an impressive Philippe, singing the beautiful “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise” with great passion, and charm.
Tom Fraser plays the main love interest role Robert with energy, and he sings up a storm in “Stout Hearted Men” and “Lover Come Back to Me” with Marianne.
Claire Langsford is a sweet Marianne, and with her enjoyable soprano, is at her best in “One Kiss.”
Aslan Anderson-Usher does brilliantly with a nice touch of timing, in the comic role of Alexander, as does Maria Davis, the coquettish, saucy Clotilde and Emma Fernee added her touch of exotica with two exciting Spanish dances.
There are too many to name all, but director Pam Tucker always manages to gather around her a cast of men and women who make up her ensemble. She deploys true and trusted performers and singers as she does for this production, who support her unflinchingly, playing in the “3rd row back,” delighted to play in the ensemble.
This production of “The New Moon” is a credit to Pam Tucker and to SALOS.