Composer Elliot Weiss and lyricist Mike Champagne have won several acclaimed awards over the years including the Eugene O’Neill Award for Musical Theatre. And now they’re bringing a WORLD PREMIERE musical revue BITTERSUITE: SONGS OF MORE EXPERIENCE to the Centenary Stage Company’s third annual Black Box Festival November 7-10. This third installment of their popular song cycle trilogy covers life’s ups and downs, highs and lows and the bittersweet moments in between.
The original BITTERSUITE: SONGS OF EXPERIENCE ran Off-Broadway for a year to critical acclaim, and a revised version, BITTERSUITE: ONE MORE TIME ran several months after that. Since then, the original version has had long running productions in LA and Chicago and been produced all over the world. One San Francisco critic called the original “A giant box of candy for those with a sweet tooth for musical theatre.”
This new edition focuses on how people grow and learn life’s vital lessons, both serious and humorous. Champagne says, “What the audience finds appealing [in these shows] is that they recognize themselves and people they know. The emotions expressed in the songs seem to ring the right bells.”
Audiences will recognize star and director David Edwards from CSC productions LIGHT UP THE SKY, MOUSETRAP, and THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN. He was also part of the National Broadway Tour of THE PRODUCERS. Edwards has been an integral part of Weiss and Champagne’s work over the years and recently released an album “David Edwards…Giving Voice to The Music of Elliot Weiss” with several songs from the Bittersuite Trilogy.
CSC General Manager Catherine Rust stated, “Audiences won’t want to miss hearing Edwards show off his vocal talents for the first time on our stage. His voice just makes you stop whatever you’re doing and takes you to another time and place. It’s not just the quality of his voice but the emotional delivery that really grabs you.”
The Black Box Festival, held in the Kutz Theatre of the Lackland Center, is celebrating various styles of entertainment this season. On November 14-17, audiences can experience an evening full of suspense and intrigue with John B. Born’s close-up magic experience Miracles and Mindgames. And rounding out the festival is a rollicking fast-paced comedy, The Essence – A Yiddish Theatre Dim Sum, running November 21-24.
Black Box Festival tickets are $25 for adults on Matinees and Fridays and $27.50 on Saturdays with discounts for seniors, students and children under 12. Thursday evening tickets are $25 with a two-for-one Family Night rush discount when purchased at the door.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org, at the CSC Box Office in The Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, or by calling 908-979-0900. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 1-5 p.m., and 2 hours prior to performance times. CSC also has a Box Office open during the season at 217 Main Street in Hackettstown Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m.