Encore Michigan

Great Escape to stage reading of ‘Bach at Leipzig’ November 10

Preview November 08, 2017 Encore Staff


MARSHALL – Great Escape Stage Company has announced the cast for the next in its series of “drama slams,” which will be presented at 7:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10. Bach at Leipzig, a comic play by Itamar Moses, will be presented for one evening only by local performers Antonio Barroso, Nate Cox, Jim Dyer, Carlen Kernish, Randy Lake, Lars Loofboro and John Sherwood. Tickets for the event are $10.

Bach at Leipzig is set in 1722 in the wake of the death of a prominent organist, whose position is left vacant. The town council invites musicians to audition for the coveted position, among them young Johann Sebastian Bach. The story is based on actual events, although the play is fictitious.

A “drama slam” is a staged reading of a play rather than a full-scale production, a format Great Escape has offered frequently since the company was launched six years ago. “We spend one day rehearsing movement and interpretation, and then read it aloud for an audience, with scripts in hand,” Lake said. “We’ve found that our audiences enjoy getting a chance to see and hear more plays this way, and our actors get a chance to perform more frequently without having all the memorization associated with a standard production.”

The character include the historical musicians Johan Friedrich Fasch (Kernish), Georg Balthasar Schott (Sherwood), Georg Lenck (Cox), Johan Martin Steindorff (Barroso), Georg Friedrich Kaufmann (Dyer) and Johan Christoph Graupner (Loofboro).

“This is really a wonderfully witty, laugh-out-loud story that’s extremely entertaining,” said Lake, the theater company’s artistic director. “It’s also a beautifully constructed slice of drama that deals with the human foibles centering on art, politics and religion. I’ve been wanting to share this with others for quite a while.”

“I’ve seen reviews that compare this script favorably to the routines of Abbott and Costello and the Marx Brothers and the humor of the TV show ‘M*A*S*H,’” Lake said. “It’s an extremely clever look at humanity, because the men who fight for the job are prepared to bribe, blackmail and betray each other at every turn.”

Lake said he selected the script because of its high entertainment value while providing a challenge to the actors he has selected to play the roles.

“I’ve worked with most of these fine performers and I know that we’ve got an exceptional level of talent that’s sure to give this play the treatment it deserves,” Lake said.

More information is available at GreatEscapeStageCompany.com or by calling (269) 781-2700. A request to be placed on the company’s email list may be sent to GESCmarshall@gmail.com.

Photo: Antonio Barroso of Marshall reads through a script of Bach at Leipzig.


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