A show called "musical storytelling at its finest" by the New York Post will be staged by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Department of Theatre and Dance Feb. 10-12 and 15-18.
The revue "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" showcases the music of a Belgian singer and songwriter who tells stories of love, war, youth and death with depth and humor. It will be performed at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre of the Noel Fine Arts Center on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11 and Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 15-18, as well as at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.
"Brel's songs are character-based and highlight elements of the human experience," said Associate Professor Mark Hanson, coordinator of the musical theatre program and the show's director. "The songwriting shows human flaws but also has hope and humor. What I like most about the show is that everyone finds something different in his music."
Originally staged on Broadway in 1968, the show featured new arrangements and English translations of Brel's French folk-style songs. His works have been sung by David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez and John Denver. Among the most recognized songs are "If You Go Away" and "Seasons in the Sun."
The show features each song as its own little one-act play, said Hanson. "Audiences will watch as if they are turning the pages of a photo album and finding new memories in each page." A cast of five male and five female students will be on stage, as well as the musicians.
Hanson, who has been a fan of Brel's since discovering his music as a child, said directing a talented group of students is helping him see the music in a new light. "They are finding their own interpretations of the music. With a revue like this, we can try anything and showcase their strengths. It makes it fun and exciting."
Tickets are $22 for adults, $21 for seniors, $17 for youth and $4.50 for students with UW-Stevens Point ID. Tickets are available at the UW-Stevens Point Information and Tickets Office, located in the Dreyfus University Center concourse, by calling 715-346-4100 or at http://tickets.uwsp.edu.