La MaMa presents Poor Baby Bree in I Am Going to Run Away, a one-woman musical conceived and performed by Bree Benton, with an original book written by Bree Benton and fifteen archival songs from the golden age of vaudeville (1890s-1930s). I Am Going to Run Away is directed by David Schweizer, with musical direction by Franklin Bruno (on piano), and featuring Karen Waltuch (on viola) and Jacob Garchik (on tuba and trombone).
The production runs from April 13 – 29, 2012 in a limited engagement at The Club at La MaMa, located at 74A East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery in New York City. Previews begin April 13 for an April 14 opening. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 10pm, and Sundays at 5:30pm. Tickets are $15 and $10 for students/seniors and can be purchased online at http://LaMaMa.org, in person at the box office or by calling 212-475-7710. The running time is 60 minutes. La MaMa is accessible from the F train to 2nd Ave. or the #6 train to Bleecker St. For more information on the show visit http://www.PoorBabyBree.com.
Bree Benton stars as archetypal waif Poor Baby Bree in this tragicomic story, inspired by Victorian melodrama and early cinema, of a child tempted from Home and Mother by dreams of the circus, only to face disillusionment, homesickness, and her own lost innocence in the Big City.
Bree Benton (creator) has been performing as “Poor Baby Bree” since 2005, after a lifetime of collecting period sheet music and studying vaudeville and its performers. Her first one-woman show as Poor Baby Bree, Weary River, earned awards from Time Out New York and Back Stage. Over the last year and a half she has presented Ragmen, Ragtime, and Ragamuffins: Historic Songs of the Lower East Side in a monthly residency at the Bowery Poetry Club. Her guest appearances around town include Laurie and Friends (BAM, curated by Laurie Anderson), Our Hit Parade (Joe’s Pub), A Tribute to Harrigan and Hart (Symphony Space), and An Irish Christmas (Irish Arts Center), as well as educational programs at CUNY/Lehman College and benefit performances for the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors and The Actor’s Fund. I Am Going to Run Away was presented at the Redhouse Arts Center in Syracuse, New York in conjunction with La MaMa in March 2012.
Franklin Bruno (pianist/musical director), in addition to his work with Poor Baby Bree, has released over a dozen albums of original songs since the 1990s, as a solo artist and member of Nothing Painted Blue and (currently) The Human Hearts, whose new album Another will be released later in 2012. His other musical projects include collaborations with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and singer/activist Jenny Toomey, as well as original music for the Adult Swim/Cartoon Network programs Squidbillies and Snake ‘n’ Bacon. Also a writer, his book on Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces was published in Continuum Books’ 33 1/3 series in 2005, and his critical writing has appeared in The Nation, Oxford American and The Believer, as well as two editions of Da Capo Books’ annual Best Music Writing Anthology.
David Schweizer (director) staged the revival of Rinde Eckert’s And God Created Great Whales, currently running at 45 Bleecker Street, and his production of Tennessee Williams’s unproduced last full-length play, In Masks Outrageous And Austere, will open Off-Broadway in April. His work as a director of new theater, opera and performance work spans decades and has been seen nationally and internationally. His debut began at Lincoln Center with a radical revival of Shakespeare’s Troilus And Cressida in 1974, and his recent productions include Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s opera The Mines Of Sulphur at New York City Opera, Charles Mee’s Wintertime at Second Stage Theater, Rinde Eckert’s Horizon at New York Theater Workshop, Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring at Gotham Opera and Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor Of Atlantis for Boston Lyric Opera. His work with solo performers includes Marga Gomez’ Los Big Names, Mike Albo’s My Price Point, and many others with artists such as Ann Magnuson, Sandra Tsing Loh and Marc Wolf. His collaborations with experimental theater companies include Theatre X (A History Of Sexuality) Mabou Mines (Greg Mehrten’s It’s A Man’s World) and his own Modern Artists Company (Plato’s Symposium).