Invoking a wide range of performing arts disciplines, Stories in Concert promises patrons 'an extraordinary storytelling experience' with its Cache Valley debut of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Relying on Washington Irving's original words, the Stories in Concert version of Sleepy Hollow adds music, theater, and festival to enhance the story and help modern audiences connect to the nearly 200-year-old tale. The live, outdoor performance includes a narrator, Foley (sound effects) artist, a singing and pantomiming chorus, and the legendary Headless Horseman himself, galloping across the Cache County Fairgrounds in pursuit of the foppish and frightened Ichabod Crane. Add to that a pre-show harvest festival, with haunted hayrides and period activities hosted by costumed characters intent on both educating and entertaining their audience, and a 'Story in Concert' seems nearly unclassifiable within any other performing arts category.
Part reader's theater and part historical reenactment, part radio show and part Broadway musical, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert is the brain-child of husband and wife team, Steve and Jayme Smith of Mendon, Utah. Jayme, Stories in Concert CEO, says the idea for the project stemmed from her love of performing arts and American history. "It's musical theater meets living history museum; it's a way for an entire family to become immersed in the world of the book and its author-and have fun while doing it," she beams.
Sleepy Hollow's 45-minute running time intentionally caters to families who want to experience the performing arts, but whose young children (and busy parents) may not be able to attend a traditional three-hour stage production. Families arriving early can enjoy hayrides with storytellers spinning ghostly yarns, play colonial-era games like graces or quoits, make their own whirligig, and learn to dance the Virginia reel. With the wiggles out, and the excitement of a fall harvest festival in, even the youngest guest is ready for the fast-paced, comical, and not-too-scary telling of America's oldest ghost story.
"People seem to really like the show and our format," says composer-director Steve Smith, "especially those with young families. I think my favorite comment came from the mom who said, 'I dragged my husband to this show and he loved it so much he made us all come back again.'"
A GROWING TRADITION
The Smiths first produced Sleepy Hollow at Lehi's Olympic Park in 2004. Since then, they've refined the show and gathered quite a following. The appeal of Stories in Concert stretches up and down the I-15 with guests from Idaho to California already purchasing advance tickets for the October show.
When asked about their Cache Valley reception Jayme replies, "We couldn't be happier with our new home in Logan. Everyone we've worked with-local businesses, the arts community, the fairgrounds staff, the tourism board and the Logan City Council-everyone has been so welcoming, supportive, and encouraging. Cache Valley has a reputation for caring and concerned neighbors and we've certainly found that to be true."
Indeed, several local neighbors join this year's cast including Paul Harris (Petersboro) as Ichabod Crane, Morgan Hawkes (Logan) as the Foley Artist, Matt Jeppesen (Wellsville) as Brom Bones, Erika Luke (Millville) as Katrina Van Tassell and her real-life father, suspense novelist Gregg Luke (Altered State, Deadly Undertakings), as the Narrator.
ABOUT THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW IN CONCERT
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert runs October 19-27, 2012 at the Cache County Fairgrounds (no performances Sunday or Wednesday). Tickets are $12 each or $60 for groups of six (family ticket). On Monday, October 22, group (family) tickets are $36 and on Tuesday, October 23, students can get in for $2 with a valid student ID. All tickets include admission to the Tarry Town Harvest Festival games and activities (concessions sold separately). The doors open at 6:30 PM for the festival and the show itself begins promptly at 8:00 PM. Be sure to dress warmly for this outdoor event and bring plenty of blankets for sitting on and wrapping up in. Find more information and purchase tickets online at StoriesinConcert.com.
ABOUT STORIES IN CONCERT
With music, theater, and festival Stories in Concert connects families to great literature through an extraordinary storytelling experience. Stories in Concert began in 2004 with generous assistance from the Lehi City Arts Council and first performances included Members of The Lehi City Chorale and Lehi City Orchestra. In 2007, Stories in Concert began working with the American Fork Arts Council to produce The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert at the American Fork Amphitheater and, in 2012, brought its signature production to Cache Valley via the fairgrounds. Visit StoriesinConcert.com for more information and the online box office.