Plays & Musicals

Sly & the Sorcerer’s Stoned – A Magical Musical Revue
Book by Joanne Helfrich, Music by Sly & The Family Stone
This parody of Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone is set to the music of Sly & the Family Stone, the 1960s rock/soul/funk/R&B band of “Everyday People” fame. Sly is a teenage a musical genius stuck in a family “afraid of the truth about magic”. He’s taken by gentle giant Haggis to the Dogwarts School for the Musically Gifted where his professors—looking like renegade hippies from a Renaissance Faire—teach him the notes, discipline, humility, and heroism required to be a sorcerer superstar. Mail is delivered via booby (bird), the professors can’t tell if their memories are magic or hallucinogenic episodes, and everything tries to kill Sly and his friends, including the Baddest Dude Ever Known, James Brown. As we say in the song, BROOM-laka-laka-laka! BROOM-laka-laka-laka!

A play in two acts by Joanne Helfrich
It’s been 22 years since a family tragedy ended the weekly Scrabble game our characters played as youths. It wasn’t your ordinary game, because they used “Aunt Mabel’s Rules,” which included shots of sake, invoking the Guinness Book of World Records, and using sentences that begin with “I believe.” Now adults – an artist, a philosopher, and a scientist – they play again, illuminating a mysterious backstory involving how they’ve dealt with – or have not dealt with – a family tragedy, which the game itself might have had something to do with. Was it a coincidence, a miracle, neither, or both?

American Creed
Book and Lyrics by Joanne Helfrich, Music by Paul Helfrich
For ten years, the Depression has brought suffering and heartache to the world. In America, unemployment is high and wages are low. Farms are failing and many are jobless and homeless. But take heart, folks! The Great American Medicine Show is in town to heal troubled hearts and soothe weary souls! Join us in our cathedral-like tent—strung with dusty banners and strings of real electric lights—and enjoy the colorful spectacle and great ideas that founded our great country. The costumes are tattered, but the troupe is there to serve…just watch out for the hypnotist with the fancy coat and the gold pocket-watch! More info, songs, and video.

Magnifico! Lorenzo de’ Medici & the Birth of the Renaissance
Book and Lyrics by Joanne Helfrich, Music by Paul Helfrich
Just one night at the Tuscan Villa Careggi helps shape the world we know today, as Lorenzo de’ Medici brings together his friends—including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo Da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli, Amerigo Vespucci, and Girolamo Savonarola—to discuss love, life, and the course of humankind. They honor Plato on his birthday, continuing the tradition of the Platonic Academy that shaped the Italian Renaissance. Their discussion will shape the course of history, but will they get it right? The astrologer says…maybe not… there’s a bonfire of the vanities afoot! There’s also a carnival, an ode to the city of Florence, spaghetti, and a horrendous kitchen accident! More info, songs, and video.

Book and Lyrics by Joanne Helfrich, Music by Paul Helfrich
Experience Hildegard von Bingen, 12th Century nun, feminist, visionary, social activist, composer, philosopher, scientist, healer, saint, and founder of monasteries. Hildegard and her nuns and monks ran community centers that soothe and heal weary bodies, minds, and spirits during the dark ages. They heal with stones, herbs, and prayer, while protecting the vulnerable and modeling peaceful resistance. The songs are about the beauty of life and nature, while her letters to authorities call them grouchy bears and inept asses. There’s also bad lyre playing, nuns who are glad they’re not married, and The Mighty Schrumpilgard! … the name Hildegard is called behind her back. More info, songs, and video.


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