Rubicon Theatre continues the company’s commitment to the creation of new works with the organization’s 46th mainstage world premiere – a developmental musical production based on Dark of the Moon, the 1945 Broadway play by Howard Richardson and William Berney.
The story of Dark of the Moon: A New Musical follows John, a witch boy from the Smoky Mountains, who falls in love with Barbara Allen, a beautiful and rebellious mortal girl who longs for more life than she finds in the fictitious Appalachian town of Buck Creek. John is willing to give up anything to be with Barbara Allen, and makes a deal with the conjur people to give up his immortality and become mortal if Barbara and he can stay true to each other for a year. Based on the classic stage play of the same name, this new musical adaptation is the sexy, soulful tale of young lovers torn apartby prejudice and fear – a modern melding of “Twilight” and Romeo and Juliet loosely based on a centuries-old ballad. Heart wrenchingly beautiful, and profoundly poetic, Dark of the Moon: A New Musical features a dual score by an award-winning songwriting team with a bluegrass/folk sound voiced by the humans juxtaposed with a rock/soul sound from the witches.
The original play version of Dark of the Moon was originally written by Howard Richardson in 1939 as a dramatization of the centuries-old European folk song “The Ballad of Barbara Allen” and was first performed under a different title at the University of Iowa in 1942. After a rewrite by William Berney who was Richardson’s cousin, the pay opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it was seen by The Shuberts. They transferred the show to Broadway in March 14 of 1945 with the new title. The show premiered in London in 1948 as an early success of then-rising star Peter Brook. The show opened Circle in the Square Theatre in 1951. A national tour was followed by numerous high school and college productions and revivals. Notably Paul Newman and Richard Hart each played the role of John.
The production opens April 1 and continues through April 16, with low-priced previews March 29-31. Performances are Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Prices are $30 to $69.50 with special discounts for students, seniors, military and Equity members. For a complete schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit www.rubicontheatre.org or call 805.667.2900.
Dark of the Moon features a 29-member cast including an onstage bluegrass band (Whole Hog of Ventura County), and a rock-and-roll pit band.
Barbara Allen is played by newcomer Ava Delaney, Jake David Smith, plays the character of John. Jennifer Leigh Warren portrays Conjur Woman, Conjur Man, played by Timothy Warmen, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margheritaplays Raven. She is joined by Juliette Redden as Arwen, the curious light witch, and Dylan Goike as Devin.