The Middle of Nowhere
A theatrical fantasy : Songs by Randy Newman Book by Tracy Friedman
Premier - Wisdom Bridge Theater, Chicago
Prince Music Theater, Philadelphia - Opened Jun 4, 2005 - Closed Jun 26, 2005
The songs of Randy Newman are woven into a contemporary "minstrel" show with the sociological punch that has made him America's foremost musical satirist. Set in 1969, five people find themselves stranded at a bus depot in a backwater Louisiana town. As the rain pours down, their personas pour forth. There's the station's janitor, the jingoistic salesman and the GI to whom he's giving a lift, the redneck with a guitar case full of beer, and the GI returning from Vietnam. In a succession of stylized set pieces, this show-within-a-show becomes a bitter-sweet allegory of American pluralism.
4 men, 1 woman
- Joe - an old black man. He seems to be the janitor of the depot.
- The GI - a handsome black soldier, very intelligent but with a chip on his shoulder.
- The Salesman - a middle-aged, Jewish travelling salesman with a robust personality.
- The Girl - a young, white, urban, hitchhiker who's good at taking care of herself.
- The Redneck - a big, brawny, loud but likeable kind of a guy.
Scenes and Settings
The action takes place in a bus depot somewhere on the back roads of Louisiana 1969.
clarinet db. tenor sax, keyboards, electric guitar, bass guitar, percussion