Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Warriors' Duet completes SRO performances

The Warriors' Duet
Completes Sellout First Engagement

Samantha Ginn gives Fringe Central patrons a taste of
Warriors the night before opening
The Warriors’ Duet, a play based upon my late daughter Laura Jeanne Morefield’s poetry, saw the last of its sellout San Diego Fringe Festival engagements at 10th Avenue Theatre Cabaret Sunday, July 7, 2013.

The play received a prize for best selling Cabaret production. Directed by Katherine Harroff and Anne Gehman and choreographed by Gehman, the piece featured Kathi Copeland as Mom and Samantha Ginn as Laura, as well as a company of amazing, dedicated and emotive dancers. They were Matt Carney and Shaun Tuazon as the men in Laura and her mom’s lives; and Desiree Cuizon, Maria Juan, Soroya Rowley, and Stephanie Smith. Each was selected for his/her unique qualities.

I am extremely grateful to everyone for this realization of the text, which began as a 2012 staged reading directed by Claudio Raygoza at ion theatre. I’m also grateful to composer Jake Heggie for allowing us to use fragments of music from his album, Facing Forward/Looking Back.

Jake began setting my poems soon after the premiere of his first opera, Dead Man WalkingBefore her diagnosis, Laura and I attended the opening of Santa Monica's Broad Stage to hear the premiere of a Heggie work titled Facing Forward/Looking Back, which features my poem “Motherwit.” She and I went to Houston for the premiere of Jake's second opera, The End of the Affair, in 2003 and also to the opening of the Ellie Opera House in Denver in 2005 for the premiere of his At the Statue of Venus. 

In 2008 Laura, Jake, Frederica von Stade and I were  shipmates on a Crystal Symphony Black Sea cruise. This magnificent trip to Russia proved the last mother/daughter excursion before Laura’s fatal diagnosis. Nonetheless, during a week off from chemotherapy in 2010, Laura insisted we attend the Dallas world premiere of Jake’s opera Moby-Dick. She declared Heggie her favorite composer and subsequently, during a last ditch attempt to find a cure at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, she and Dan saw Dead Man Walking. So she and Jake were profoundly acquainted as well as contemporary in age. Laura even played 18 holes of golf with his teenage son shortly after Moby-Dick's premiere. She trusted Jake so completely that she sent him her ten favorite poems two months before she died. In 2014 he will set Laura’s extraordinary poem “The Work at Hand” in a concerto for soprano, cello and orchestra. Locale TBA.

“The Work at Hand” is part of The Warriors’ Duet. Due to the incredible success of Warriors at the Fringe there is talk of a remount very soon. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, you will find links to reviews and a photo gallery below.  

Reviews of The Warriors' Duet

James Hebert SD Union-Tribune

Samantha Ginn, Kathi Copeland
and company members
in dress rehearsal
Photo by Manuel Rotenberg

Kris Eitland at San Diego Story

Carol Davis, The Examiner

Photo Gallery:

Matt Carney and Samantha Ginn
in rehearsal for The Warriors' Duet
Photo by Rich Soublet

Laura's step brother Darrell Baldridge
Samantha Ginn and Laura's husband,
Dan Morefield
Anton Denikin, Charlene, Laura's brother Charlie Ortego,
Anya Ortego and Tatiana Denikin
Photo courtesy of Robert Hampton
Samantha Ginn and Charlene Baldridge
Photo courtesy of Robert Hampton

Lauren and Ann Santilli,
Samantha Ginn, Greg Santilli
and Kathi Copeland

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