Border produced nostalgic musical Butterfly Lounge opens Friday, October 13, at The Butter Factory Theatre, Gateway Village promising to transport the audience to the dark and mysterious world of the jazz-era speakeasy scene.
The Other Theatre Company production stars Colm Cox as Elliot (Lio) Byrne, an aspiring New York writer who finds himself at an illegal bar – the Butterfly Lounge – in a bad part of Chicago on Christmas Eve, 1928.
Byrne is in hiding, drowning his sorrows, and the Butterfly Lounge staff know him well: there’s Nancy the waitress (played by Cassie Pryor), Ernie the bartender (Scott Bishop), Ralph the pianist (Cleve Shaw) and Leroy the doorman (Duncan Brown). A five-piece jazz band keeps things moving.
Unfortunately, powerful gangster Charlie Drinkwater (Emma Manacer) also knows he’s in town and wants a word.
As if that’s not bad enough, his wife Maggie (Pieta Swann), teenage daughter Amy (Stella Klironomakis) and best friend Cal (Kathryn Lewis) wouldn’t mind a word with him too, and they’d certainly like him to come home to New York.
Butterfly Lounge is an original play written by Border playwright Alexander Gibbs, complimented by an original score and lyrics composed by a talented young composer Katja Jorgensen in partnership with Tony Smith.
Jorgensen and Smith are both incredibly talented local musicians who among playing in various local bands, orchestras and musical theatre also teach at the Murray Conservatorium.
Butterfly Lounge is a play that will move and reward the audience with several musical numbers described as “the cat’s meow”.
It was first performed on the NSW Central Coast in 2008 and won the Adjudicator's Award for Most Promising New Playwright at the Central Coast Theatre Festival in Wyong.
Tickets are still available for the two performances.