THE BALLAD OF DOWNTOWN JAKE
(a contemporary music drama - for mature audiences)
Created by PVCC Faculty members Dr. Lois Roma-Deeley and Dr. Christopher Scinto
Directed by PVCC Faculty member Andrea Robertson
March 12th, 13th, 14th @ 7:30pm; Sunday March 15th @ 2:00pm. $8‐$15 Admission.
Click HERE to purchase tickets *$4 additional ticket fee at the door 1‐hour prior to performance.
THE BALLAD OF DOWNTOWN JAKE is set in the shadowy jazz scene of the late 1950’s. On the road to success, Jake Delmonico, once crowned the greatest saxophonist America has ever heard, takes several dark turns, which threaten his life and, ultimately, his music. Each of the main characters—hustler, jazz man, singer, waitress—and even the one hovering Angel—struggle with themselves and the world they find themselves living in. Jake’s addiction to drugs has resulted in the deaths of his children and the near ruin of his music. Harry Jones tempts Jake, again and again, with heroin. Sugar Baby’s unrelenting grief and emotional overdependence on Jake has pivoted her life toward drugs, alcohol and prostitution. As the Civil Rights movement is stirring, Jasmine is beginning to confront her own anger over injustice. At each and every turn, the Angel refuses to give up hope for these souls of “the imperfect now.” The spirits of Johnny Dae, Charlie “Bird” Parker and other jazz greats appear in various ways to offer comfort and not a small amount of warning. Lust, betrayal, longing and love make the journey these five characters take a treacherous one, marked by addiction, redemption, hope and one last shot at fame.
"What a journey this has been!" says Lois Roma-Deeley, who wrote the lyrics and book for the show. “After nearly 10 years of collaborating with composer Christopher Scinto on this project and now working with such outstanding artists, I am thrilled to see the fusion of music and poetry, story and character, struggle and hope, come to life on stage. The total effect is pure magic!"
Composer and musical director Christopher Scinto says, “The musical score for JAKE is heavily influenced by the blues and small combo jazz of the 1950s, which are fused together with musical conventions found in opera and musical theater.”
“The opportunity to direct a new work is a rare and wonderful one,” says Andrea Robertson. “Having the chance to turn to the playwright and composer and say ‘what if we tried this?’ or ‘can you clarify this character choice?’ is amazing; usually as a director you are feeling around in the dark, guessing as best you can what the playwright meant or wanted.”