Posts Tagged Abbee Warmboe

Introducing the Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Introducing the Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll

INTRODUCING THE GODMOTHER OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Local premiere stars Jamecia Bennett and Rajané Katurah Brown

Park Square Theatre announces the area premiere production of Marie & Rosetta by George Brandt, to be directed by Wendy Knox, who directed the early workshops of the play at the Minneapolis-based Playwrights’ Center. Soulful and spirited, this play with music tells the story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a 2018 inductee into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame who has become a Facebook sensation with tens of thousands of shares of the vintage video of her playing electric guitar on the street cropping up in feeds for the past several years. Tharpe brought fierce guitar playing and swing to gospel music and went on to influence rock musicians from Elvis to Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles.

The story begins in a funeral parlor in Mississippi, as Rosetta (played by Jamecia Bennett*) and her young protégé, Marie Knight (played by Rajané Katurah Brown), prepare for a tour that will establish them as a great musical duo. Local musical powerhouses, Bennett and Brown earned rave reviews in THE WIZ at Children’s Theatre Company. In this production, musical director Gary D. Hines from The Sounds of Blackness will help them shape memorable renditions of spirituals like “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” and “Sit Down,” to distinctly non-religious songs like “I Want a Tall Skinny Papa.”

“Rosetta was a powerhouse musician who had a huge influence on Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Etta James, among others,” says director Wendy Knox. “She came to fame as a gospel singer, was a rival of Mahalia Jackson, then crossed over to secular music and was shunned by the church community. She was married several times and maintained a longtime relationship with her musical partner Marie Knight. Under-recognized for her talents (gee, that problem hasn’t gone away, has it?), she had an enormous influence on rock and roll. What a treat to return to this great story in the very year when she finally got her due from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame!”

The production team for Marie & Rosetta includes Joseph Stanley (Scenic Design); Aaron Chvatal (Costume Design); Robert Dunn (Wig Design); Abbee Warmboe (Properties Design); Michael P. Kittel (Lighting Design); Peter Morrow (Sound Design); Morgan Holmes (Dramaturg); Jared Zeigler* (Stage Manager).

Ticket prices: Previews: $20-$37. Regular Run: $25-$60. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #PSTMarie&Rosetta

*Member, Actors Equity Association

CALENDAR INFORMATION

Marie & Rosetta

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: November 23 – 29, 2018

Opening Night: November 30

Regular Run: November 30  – December 30, 2018

Tickets: Previews: $20-$37; Regular Run: $25-$60

PARK SQUARE THEATRE, 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul

Ticket Office: 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org

Phtos by Petronella J. Ytsma HERE.

Green 7:30 pm; Orange 2:00pm

P – Preview; B – 99¢ Bargain Preview; D – Post-show Discussion; O – Opening Night; ASL – American Sign Language; AD – Audio Description; C – Open Captioning

Abbee Warmboe Cuts It Up

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Raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Abbee Warmboe graduated from St. Olaf College in 2010 with a degree in Theater, specifically trained as a scenic designer and painter. She spent a summer as a props designer for the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera in Iowa before relocating to the Twin Cities. While searching for work, she discovered that our theatres had a high need for props designers so, with her experience from the opera, was able to shift her focus to props design. Currently, she designs props for Park Square Theatre’s season-opening production of The Liar, which runs from September 9 to October 2.

The Liar offers Warmboe a unique experience in props design. Normally, a props designer will have already created all the necessary props for use in rehearsals; but since the set of The Liar will be two-dimensional (refer to the previous blog “Flat Land: The World of The Liar“), Warmboe will be able to create props beforehand as well as on demand to try out during rehearsals.

The cast suddenly needs a vintage gramophone? Easy! Just get some cardboard, cut out a silhouette and paint it. Need a new wine glass because one bent? Okay! No problem! How about an instant cat?

Once they know what works well or not, Warmboe will produce the more refined two-dimensional props. These final versions may drastically differ from those used during rehearsals. The beauty of using cardboard, too, is that, if absolutely necessary, Warmboe can even make up to the last minute changes, for instance, if a prop fails to have the intended effect on stage.

This season at Park Square Theatre, Warmboe will not only design props for The Liar, but for The Realistic Joneses and Flower Drum Song as well. She has worked with directors Doug Scholz-Carlson, Joel Sass and Randy Reyes, respectively, in past productions and looks forward to working with them again. For The Liar, she also closely collaborates with good friend and scenic designer Eli Schlatter, together enjoying the challenge of considering “what jokes we can put in them (the set and props).”

Warmboe laughed a lot while describing her work to me. Designing props for The Liar has been super fun.