Six-time Emmy Award-winning-and Oscar nominee for scoring Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of The Color Purple-composer Chris Boardman makes his debut as a playwright with So She Lived, his new play debuting at Nashville's Darkhorse Theatre this weekend for a two performance run June 15 and 16.
Shirley McClaine, Mitzi Gaynor, Quincy Jones, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt and Barbara Streisand are but a sampling of the major stars with whom Boardman has worked over the years (which includes his compositions for The Wiz, Payback and Meet Joe Black).
Boardman, assisted by Nashville theater veteran Courtney McClellan, directs a cast that includes David Kinnard, Ann Street, Michelle Glen and Perlie Dunn in his poignant portrait of a dysfunctional family's struggle to find a means of communication during a time of personal family crisis. Boardman will join his script as he performs his original musical score during the show's two-performance run.
A synopsis of the original play, courtesy of the production's website:
"So She Lived is a story about a strong and courageous woman who struggles to survive in the midst of challenging cultural and dysfunctional family circumstances.
"Born in the early 1920's and coming of age during The Great Depression, Mom marries after World War II and raises a family of two boys. An elegant and beautiful woman Mom is stifled by social mores and traditions of the time. She becomes the ultimate manipulator, using passive aggressive behavior to control her family, her only way to survive a life limited by her husband's inability to express his emotions and refereeing the constant bickering of her sons.
"Robert, a gifted musical talent, has enjoyed a long and successful career in music. He loves his Mom but he can't escape the pain of his highly dysfunctional childhood and his confusing relationship with his Mom. Robert Is desperate to find answers to the questions that have plagued his entire life and find resolution and closure.
"Mary, Robert's wife, is caught in the middle between Mom, Robert, Brother and Dad. Mary shares a deep bond with her mother-in-law but can't compete or make sense out of a drama that began some 50 years ago.
"Our story begins shortly after Dad has a massive stroke, leaving Mom alone for the first time in her adult life at age 80. Mom is not in good health and it is now up to Robert to help her reach her final breath with dignity and respect. What ensues is a journey filled with anger, confrontation, love, gratitude and respect."
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and may be purchased online at www.soshelived.com. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. for both performances, Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16. Darkhorse Theatre is located at 4610 Charlotte Avenue.