Dicks, Bras, Bars and Other 'Disordered' Subjects
by B[arry]L[.]C[ohen]/Linda Pehrson/Mark Greenfest

'SUNDAY NIGHTS AT SQUARE ONE: Excerpts from Opera/Art Songs/Cabaret/Pop/Rock/Jazz/Performance Artists & Musical Theater Works in Progress." Music of Dizozza, Lehrman, Rosenthal, Rodgers and the team of Parsons-Hill-Cornutt. Presented by Golden Fleece, Ltd. at Theater 22. May 13th [2001] program.

The subtitle tells us more about these programs than the series title does, but if you want conciseness, how about a single word: "workshop." Though Lou Rodgers prefers the word "reading," the idea is very much the same, and it's exactly what makes her Golden Fleece so invaluable to the musical theater community. Its members can try out their ideas and strut their stuff before people who just plain love musical theater, and they can get some verbal feedack,while reserving the sales pitches and documents for foundations, private angels, and accountants.

Leonard Lehrman wrote the music for The Booby Trap as out-and-out social commentary, one of his favorite categories. Optionally subtitled Off Our Chests, it is billed as "a musical which, for the first time in the history of medicine and theater, deals with bras as the [sic: a] major cause of breast cancer." The complete premiere is scheduled to take place on August 23rd at Eastover in Lenox, MA, to be performed by the Opera/Musical Theatre Special Interest Group of the Naturist Society. That's no joke, we assure you; the work is based on a book by Sydney Ross Singer (Mr. Lehrman's librettist) and Soma Grismaijer, medical anthropologists. That book, Dressed to Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras, is pretty serious business, whether or not you buy the contention.
This evening we heard the earnest cast of Helene Williams, Peter Kacalanos, Sarvamangala, and Cary Bair (with Lehrman at the keyboard) sing eight of the songs, all cleverly ironic little gems, entitled

Barbie Blues--Breast Play--Baby Breasts--The Test
Boobs Blues--Working It Out--Silicone Sal--Stuffed Bras

We hope those titles are changed before the premiere; the lyrics are far better. For example, why not simply use the principal line of the last song, "Take This Bra and Stuff It," and call it a strap - er, uh - a rap?

The enthusiastic and energetic discussion ending the evening's entertainment gave us a glimpse of the creative and collaborative processes of these talented composers along with their future plans.

in New Music Connoisseur (v.9#2 p.16, Summer 2001)