Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

Drift – NEW MUSICAL AND NAME TALENT END SEASON FIVE | Sept 12 – 27

drift

It is likely the perfect name for a show that will move from one theatre to another this September.  Drift, a contemporary concert-musical will close out the fifth season of Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy in not just one location, but two.

Dave Barrus, Sean Jenness, Yolanda W. Rabun, Melvin Tunstall III, Christian Campbell, Gregory Dale Sanders

Dave Barrus, Sean Jenness, Yolanda W. Rabun, Melvin Tunstall III, Christian Campbell, Gregory Dale Sanders

Melvin Tunstall III, Christian Campbell

Melvin Tunstall III, Christian Campbell

Also drifting in to town with the production are some heavy hitters on the acting scene including Christian Campbell (Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, The $treet) and Lauren Kennedy (Spamalot, Les Miserables, Vanities the Musical) who will direct.

Christian Campbell

Christian Campbell

Drift will be the first production to grace the new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson September 12-20. After the Barton run, the show will move to The Kennedy Theatre at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh September 23-27 to close the season.

With music and lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld and additional material by Craig Popisil, Drift is about a man’s journey of gaining peace and perspective on his life, after the break up of his marriage and family.   The highly successful concept album by Schonfeld, who will also be the Musical Director for the Hot Summer Nights production, comes to vivid life when a man, newly single, steps into the empty apartment he once shared with his wife and daughter and the memories flood his mind.  His path, as woven by Schonfeld’s intensely personal rock score, is paved with humor, passion, disappointment and most importantly, hope.  The New York Times says “(Schonfeld’s) score was assured and appealing piano-based rock reminiscent of Jonathan Larson and Billy Joel.” While Show Business Weekly says “The lyrics are smart and contemporary … a successful fusion of rock and theatre that should make a star out of Schonfeld.”

Aside from Campbell, Kennedy and Schonfeld, Drift includes a creative cast and crew from New York, Los Angeles and North Carolina. Sharing the stage with Campbell will be Broadway actor David Barrus (Les Miserables and Chess) as well as Sean Jenness (Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, Roller Derby), Michelle Kinney, Yolanda Rabun, Gregory Dale Sanders, Andrea Schulz Twiss and Melvin Tunstall III.

Schonfeld is elated to bring the show to North Carolina for many reasons, including a great cast, crew and vibe.  “I just had a feeling Lauren would bring that wonderful, confident energy to the work. After the huge success we achieved in New York, bringing the show down South to really work on it felt like a natural transition for both of us, says Schonfeld who added, “We are very fortunate to have both new and old blood in this production (which itself was completely reborn last Fall). Christian Campbell is a dear friend and extremely captivating actor and performer. Throw a Dave Barrus, Sean Jenness, and some wonderful local talent into the mix and you have a diverse and exciting production.”

Kennedy’s and Schonfeld’s production team includes Christine Rapp (Production Stage Manager), Chris Wallen (Assistant Stage Manager), Julie Flinchum Bradley (Associate Musical Director), MatthewJason Willis (Choreographer), Chris Bernier (Set & Lighting Designer), Vincent Marini (Projection Designer), Shawn Larson (Costume Designer), Leanne Heinz (Sound Designer) and Phil Valera (Sound Supervisor).

Drift performance times and dates are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday matinees at 3 PM at both locations.

Tickets are on sale now through Ovation Tickets by calling 866-811-4111 or online at ovationtix.com Individual tickets are just $22.00. Senior Adults (65 and over), Military and Students (with valid ID) are $18.  Group discounts can be arranged by calling 919-633-6038. For more information, please visit the Theatre’s website: www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org.

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