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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Most Happy in Concert

As the director Daniel Fish told The New York Times in 2015, the stripped-down Oklahoma! he was then working on for SummerScape wasn’t “about trying to push show, but about trying really to hear it.” Last summer, he apparently had a similar agenda for Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella, a veritable piñata of a musical, full to bursting with infectious song. The project got cancelled, but this summer it’s back in a more compact concert form, sung by seven female and non-binary voices backed by 13 musicians. “The need to be seen, to be heard, to be recognized shakes itself free from traditional storytelling to emerge in the primal act of song,” Fish has said, alluding to recent lockdowns. “What happens when, out of stasis, the need to scream becomes a song? … In this concert setting, plot fades away and a different kind of story emerges—one made of raw human emotion expressed in song and persona.” —M.G.

Fisher Center at Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Manor Ave, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504, USA
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