It was inspired by a poem I encountered at the wedding of our friends Kara and Jacquie. It was called "O Kiss" and was written by Sir Phillip Sidney and published in 1591. It was part of a cycle of over 100 sonnets and songs. "Astrophil" means star-lover in ancient Greek, while "Stella" is Roman for a star. The whole song cycle is available to listen to on Soundcloud:
Early in the pandemic (Spring, Summer 2020) I wrote a new (classical) song cycle: Astrophil and Stella. Luckily, we have a very talented soprano (and photographer), Shani Hadjian who lives in the apartment above us. Shani did a fabulous job on our socially distanced world premiere recording. Here it is:
Look for "Impossible But True to be featured in its entirety on o on a Sunday in the coming month!
In the meantime, here is the link to "Inside Page to Stage," a podcast hosted by Jerome Harmann Hardeman that is featuring the show. Episodes 2, 4 & 6 comprise the entire show. Other episodes contain interviews with cast members and me about the show and the experience of doing theater in a tavern:
Astrophil and Stella
Where to hear me:
Friday, June 11, 7:30-10:30pm
Martin McQuade: "Jazz for a June Night"
at The Greenhouse
7717 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, June 19, 1-4pm
with Elena Clark
103-19 Metropolitan Ave, Forest Hills, NY
The idea of Brooklyn Tavern Theater is to make original musical theater possible for artists and accessible to the local community. For over two years now, we have been doing shows at Rustik Tavern (Bed-Stuy) and Franklin 820 (Crown Heights), both neighborhood bars in Brooklyn. I am looking for a co-thinkers/theater lovers in Brooklyn to help make this a financially sustainable project. There are grants to apply for, projects and productions to organize...and it can't all be done by one person.
How can you help? Would you like to be involved in a local theater production?. We want to keep ticket prices affordable and keep the bar open to the local community. We think we can bring in a certain amount per show, but we need to raise an equal amount from outside. This is immersive theater in an intimate, friendly environment, and it is our goal to keep it low-cost: a non-exclusive event that one can walk into off the street and decide to stay. I believe there are businesses, community institutions and individuals who would like to get behind a project like this. Help us find them!
"Impossible But True" Podcast Recording to be featured on Musical Theatre Radio
For updates, please monitor the Brooklyn Tavern Theater website: .
Preparations (writing and recording) are ongoing for the next Brooklyn Tavern Theater project: "The Joe Hill Revival" will open at Rustik Tavern in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn in September of 2021. Here's Vienna Carroll singing the song by Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson, "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill":