FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sat. Sept. 28 – 7pm – Newtown, CT – Buy Tix Now
I have a new show in less than two weeks — and if that sounds like it came out of the blue — it did! In the world of shows and concerts, most are booked months or years in advance. But when my agent called me about returning to the old-time variety show “Flagpole Radio Cafe” just two days before I leave for Paraguay, I jumped at it.
I loved playing the “Flagpole” a year and a half ago. It’s like being on an old-time variety show – the kinds I watched as a kid – the kinds my mom listened to around the radio – the kinds my grandparents went to in vaudeville theaters – with sketch comedy, music, special guests and a live audience.
If you know my shows, you know I love mixing story, theater and music – so I feel right at home at “Flagpole Radio.” I love taking part in their songs and sketches – and I love it when their band joins in on my songs. I love that off-the-cuff you-never-know-what’s-going-to-happen experience. And I love their incredibly warm, lively audience.
The show is produced in Edmond Town hall in tiny Newtown, CT – about 2 ½ hours from Boston, between Hartford and New Haven – in a big old classic New England town hall with a wide stage, a great sound system, and a wonderful connection to the audience.
Now we’ve all heard of Newtown. And what happened there in December 2012 is why there’s been no Flagpole Radio season in 2013.
When I heard about the Newtown shooting, I was on a tour bus in Spain. The memory is stamped in my mind, the same way the memory of hearing about the Kennedy assassination is. I see the light inside the bus, the colors of the tourbus seats, the traffic outside the dark windows, the long angry, unbelieving conversation about the shooting. Band members nearly screaming in their frustration and outrage.
And we were on a tourbus in Spain. Basically untouched. None of us lived in Newtown. I was the only one who’d ever even been there.
Multiply that pain by a number so immense it’s impossible to conceive, by an intensity beyond counting. I can’t even imagine it. Yet a whole town experienced it.
And after that, there were no more Flagpole Radio shows. All the upcoming ones were cancelled. No new shows were scheduled. The cast took part in one special benefit performance, but nobody had the heart to plan a variety show.
How do you begin life again after something happens that tears you apart, that changes you forever, that rips your heart from the center of your life?
Sometimes you don’t. You just don’t. You stop everything and you honor the loss that the word ‘loss’ can’t remotely touch. You let everything else slide. You have to.
And then one day, a day that feels like its too soon, and too late … you do something. Just one thing. One thing you think you could never start again. But you start.
And the show on Sat. Sept. 28 is one of those things. The sudden, unplanned beginning of a new season — Flagpole’s new season — and I’m so proud to be part of it.
When I talked to producer Martin Blanco about the show early this week he said they knew they didn’t have time to do the kind of advance-press that filled the house the last time I was there … but they just had to start somewhere.
And that’s why – out of the blue, just a few weeks before the show – I got the call to join Flagpole Radio on Sat. Sept. 28 at 7pm. I don’t know why they called me, out of all the wonderful performers they’ve had on the show, but I’m grateful they did, grateful the date was free.
So if you are anywhere near Newtown Connecticut on Saturday Sept. 28th please, please, please come join me for this show. The show starts at 7pm:
Many thanks to the Stratton Faxon law firm for their generous support of this show and to Greg Van Antwerp for all the great photos of last year’s show!