The Musical Theater Project presents "The Cradle Will Rock": Bill Rudman

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The Musical Theater Project, Kent State University and Beck Center for the Arts are partnering to produce in concert The Cradle Will Rock – a political fable written by Marc Blitzstein. Performances are Wednesday, September 21 (7:30pm) at Beck Center for the Arts, and Sunday, September 25 (2pm) at the Kent State University’s E. Turner Stump Theatre.

Although first produced in 1937, the hard-hitting Cradle – funny, angry and stirring – was selected by the three organizations for its relevance in this tumultuous presidential election year.

Blitzstein’s self-described “play in music,” a clarion call for unionism in an American steel town, remains the only Broadway musical the federal government ever tried to shut down prior to the Broadway opening night. Within its 80 minutes, we watch upstanding members of society – including the editor of the town’s newspaper, a leading doctor, a member of the clergy and two artists – sell out their principles to a ruthless corporate magnate. The musical examines corruption, corporate power and greed, the crushing of the “little guy,” and the urgency of reclaiming the American Dream.

Featured performer Joe Monaghan, playing union organizer Larry Foreman, joins members of Kent State’s Music Theatre Program in reviving this American masterwork, directed by Terri Kent with music direction by TMTP’s associate artistic director, Nancy Maier. Each performance will begin with a brief multi-media presentation by TMTP artistic director Bill Rudman, joined by Kent and Maier.

Cradle is a singular and stunning piece,” says Rudman. “It delivers terrific entertainment, but it may also be the edgiest political work ever created for our mainstream musical theater. Wherever you stand in the coming election, you’ll find that it tackles issues that have become central to the national debate. The show was produced in New York as recently as last year, winning raves all over again.”

Beck Center is located at 17801 Detroit Ave in Lakewood. Tickets for this performance are priced at $27-$31 and can be purchased through TMTP’s box office at (216) 245-8687. KSU’s E. Turner Stump Theatre is located at 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent, Ohio.  General tickets for the Kent State performance, are priced at $14-$18 and are available through the Kent State box office at (330) 672-2787.

The Cradle Will Rock is presented as part of “The Song Is You!” concert season produced each year by The Musical Theater Project at a variety of locations.

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