Imagine going back in time and following a group of musical hopefuls who just happen to be hanging out in what Rolling Stone Book of Lists calls “one of the three most influential music venues of all time”
– Folk City, the musical
Grammy winner Julie Gold visits with the Folk City cast.
The above cast is George Anthony, Cass Dillon, Ian Kurtz, Ryan Rickenbach, Raph Odell Shapiro, Kim Vogels, Vincent Vok, Hallie Wage, Famecia Ward. Director: David Marquez / Music Director: Zach Goodman / Producer: Chip Quigley, Kingdom Entertainment.
A musical about the legendary Greenwich Village music venue
FOLK CITY was home to many now-iconic folk, blues, country and rock musicians (as well as famous actors and comedians) from 1961 to 1986. It’s the setting for a fictional group of musicians, regulars and employees whose lives revolve around the club and who inhabit the world of those real-life musicians and songwriters who put Folk City on the map and who are represented in the play through their classic songs.
FOLK CITY, a new musical by Bernadette Contreras and Robbie Woliver, is based on the critically acclaimed book Bringing It All Back Home by Woliver, a New York Times bestselling author. The book and play cover the history of the Greenwich Village music scene, specifically the legendary music venue Gerdes Folk City (which Woliver owned) and the popular folk, blues, pop and rock artists and classic songs that came out of that three-decade scene from 1961 to 1986. The play features the most rousing theatrical folk-pop-rock soundtrack yet.
The play begins in 1961, as the audience is brought into the cool hipster world of Beatniks, jazzbos, poets and folk singers, all creating a vibrant breeding ground for friendship, romance, politics, social change, jealousy, drugs and fame.
The play follows the club’s history and the characters’ lives through three decades of the club’s legendary Hoot Nights or open-mic nights. Their intimate story unfolds against the backdrop of changes that impacted the world during that time, as we follow their search for fame, love and a sense of belonging—home.
Staging will allow audience members to feel like they are actually in the club, and are a part of, and witnessing, a real slice of life at Hoot Night, as actors mingle with the audience when they are not the focus of a scene.
To avoid this being a “history lesson,” much of the historic exposition will be through the songs’ lyrics and innovative multimedia production, allowing the main characters’ personal stories to take front stage.
Featuring music by a wide variety of well-known artists, the play offers classic songs of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Classic music of the decades is heard throughout, but all the well-known songs performed live are by Folk City alumni.
The play might take place in Greenwich Village, but it also reminds the audience of a bigger world out there from the Civil Rights struggle to the War in Vietnam to the influx of drugs, free love, the growth of the women’s movement and the blight of AIDS. Personal struggles are also affecting the group of characters from their search for fame to romantic entanglements. But in the end, which takes place on the night Folk City closes after losing its lease, it is talent, camaraderie and the feeling of belonging that allow the characters to persevere.
Through its unforgettable soundtrack, fascinating history, identifiable characters, and inventive staging, the musical, FOLK CITY , is an all-encompassing entertainment experience. Folk City is an immersive multi-media experience where the audience will be transported to Greenwich Village, “inside” the venerable club and through three turbulent and exhilarating decades, reliving the excitement of the era first-hand.