September 30, 2016
On a wet dreary night in late September Earl Lewin’s latest play “Saint Georges Blues” premiered at the Church Hill Theatre. The rain sure didn’t damper the spirits of those in attendance. All enjoyed the show, including myself.
In the press release for the show, “Saint Georges Blues is a contemporary comedy-drama that deals with small town personalities confronted by the “come-heres” who bring change to the small Chesapeake and Delaware Canal town.”
Lewin’s script is a true tale and tribute to Joe Michini and his wife Marge. As the story unfolds we are taken on the journey that with Garry Cogdell and Gene Fontana in brings Rhythm and Blues to Saint Georges Country Store.
Many of the cast members I have seen in prior shows. But new to me was Peggy Chiras as Marge, the store’s employee as the show opened, and Steve Hazzard as Joe, Marge’s new suitor. Joe is a Delaware River pilot with a vision. To marry Marge and turn the store into a Cajun restaurant. Both put in fine performances
When they meet new neighbor, musician Garry Cogdell, played by Chris Rogers and his daughter-in-law Jen who joins the staff as a waitress, played by Michelle Christopher, a new adventure begins. Rogers’ performance resonated with me as one that a musician will enjoy.
From there it’s continues the story of how the store became a East Coast music venue and with created a nationally-recognized, annual Rhythm and Blues Festival in this Chesapeake and Delaware Canal town.
Rounding out the cast is Jon Hass as Gene Fontana. Howard Mesick and Juanita Wieczoreck play locals who pop in from time to time to see what’s going on and complain about some of the doings of the “come-here’s”.
Jane Jewell plays Marge’s Aunt Shirley, who with Alzheimer’s setting in, tells a story of her one true love from High School. Tom Dorman plays a character that gives the story a surprise ending.
In the program Lewin writes, “the relationships, words, thoughts of the characters … are inventions of the author. Any correlation to actual conduct or philosophy is coincidental”
I would encourage everyone to take the time to see the show. It’s a touching 2 hours of life under the C&D Canal Bridge in Delaware.
Saint Georges Blues will be performed through October 9th, 2016 at 8 pm Thursdays thru Saturdays, a special 2 pm matinee will be performed on Saturday, October 1st, followed by the 8 pm evening performance at Church Hill Theatre. A matinee will be performed at 2 pm on Sunday October 9th. All tickets are $15 (cash or check only) and may be picked up prior to performance at the box office. Reservations are suggested. Call Church Hill Theatre at 410.556.6003.
Saint George’s Blues will also be performed on Saturday, October 29th at 7:30 pm at the Smyrna Opera House. Please call 302.653.4236 for reservations.