Monday, May 19, 2014

Fringe Spotlight: WE CAN BE ONE: A Musical About Coming Home

Jaeger Christian examines the effect a decade of overseas wars has had on today’s twenty somethings in his new musical We Can Be One: A Musical About Coming Home which will premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June. It is the story of two couples, each with its own set of unique challenges, who must confront the promise and heavy burden of coming home. 

In this Fringe Spotlight, the composer talks about his project and gives us a preview of what the show is all about.

Jaeger, tell us a little bit about the musical.

I’m a songwriter first and I’ve always worked hard to write lyrics and music that can stand on their own, but I found myself with a set of songs that begged to be staged. The Hollywood Fringe Festival is a great venue for an artist of any sort to try out something new and face the risk that a live audience brings.

We Can Be One follows the journey of two women through a single evening. One woman (Malynda Hale, pictured left) is optimistic as she prepares to leave for the airport to pick up a soldier (Michael Thomas-Visgar) returning from Iraq while her friend (Nora Rothman) struggles with a boyfriend (Geordie Kieffer) who returned six months earlier and is starting to dissociate from his loved ones. The cast will also include Stephanie Hoston and Mykell, as two friends there to help celebrate. Our cast is primarily in their early to mid-twenties, and I think our production accurately reflects difficulties faced by many young Americans in the last decade. 

Is there a particular reason this topic interested you?

Before I came to Los Angeles, I worked as a civilian at a military facility in Florida, and personally knew men and women who returned from years of deployment abroad. But our culture reflected on this massive mobilization only through books and action movies. I wanted to write a set of songs to see if music could also become part of this conversation.

Why do you think it’s a good fit for the Fringe?

The show is right for the Fringe because it comes from outside the everyday musical landscape, and Three Clubs is a great stand-in for any bar anywhere in the U.S. We’re a small production trying to tackle a real, contemporary subject with original songs. We’re blessed to have amazing vocalists presenting these songs, and we can’t wait to see how the audience responds to our little show!

WE CAN BE ONE: A Musical About Coming Home
Music & lyrics by Jaeger Christian
Book by Jaeger Christian and William J. O’Donnell
June 6, 12, 15, 19, 24, 2014 
Three Clubs, 1123 N. Vine Street
Hollywood, CA, 90038
Tickets: $12 www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1722 
For more about We Can Be One: www.wecanbeone.la
For more about Malynda Hale: www.malyndahale.com

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