THEATRE + COMEDY
Pâ€™s and Qâ€™s: the ABCâ€™s of Manners
July 5 - August 9, 2009
Main Street Theater presents P’s and Q’s: the ABC’s of Manners. A World Premiere. Book by Steven Garfinkel, Music and Lyrics by Trout Fishing in America (Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet). Directed by Mark Adams. July 5 – August 9, 2009 at Main Street Theater - Chelsea Market.
Main Street Theater will premiere P’s and Q’s: the ABC’s of Manners, a new musical for family audiences, in July of 2009. Using the smart, funny, high-energy songs of Trout Fishing in America, the musical is pure joy and silliness – with a strong undercurrent of good life lessons! P’s and Q’s reminds us, with humor and insight, that manners are still important to our society and play a major role in the development of good citizens.
Not all the “lessons” are illustrated by children; adults also receive their fair share of scrutiny! With delightful songs like “The Late Great Nate McTate,” “Always Chew Your Food with Your Mouth Shut,” “Mine,” and of course, “P’s and Q’s: The ABC’s of Manners,” there is lots of fun to be had by one and all!
“I’ve wanted to do a piece about the importance of manners for years, but we couldn’t find the right approach,” says Main Street Theater Artistic Director Rebecca Greene Udden. “Steve Garfinkel and I had been talking about it. And then it hit me one day to ask Trout Fishing in America to do the music. I’m a huge fan.” Main Street Theater will premiere Ps and Qs: the ABCs of Manners, a new musical for family audiences, in July of 2009, with music and lyrics by Trout Fishing in America (Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet) and book by Steve Garfinkel. Performances July 5 – August 9 at Main Street Theater–Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose Boulevard in the Museum District. July 5 is a preview. July 8 is Target Family Night. Opening is July 9.
For Target Family Night, all tickets are half-price. Following the performance, there will be a talkback with the audience and Trout’s Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet will be on-hand to answer questions, along with Steve Garfinkel, director Mark Adams, and the cast. Grimwood and Idlet will also be available for autographs.
Ticket prices for public performances are $15 for students and seniors and $20 for adults. Tickets are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office at 2540 Times Blvd. in Rice Village, via phone at 713.524.6706 or online at www.mainstreettheater.com. Group rates are available. No children under 5 are admitted in the theater (including sleeping babies).
About Ps and Qs: the ABCs of Manners
Using the smart, funny, high-energy songs of Trout Fishing in America, Ps and Qs is pure joy and silliness – with a strong undercurrent of good life lessons! The musical reminds us, with humor and insight, that manners are still important to our society and play a major role in the development of good citizens. Not all the “lessons” are illustrated by children; adults also receive their fair share of scrutiny! With delightful songs like “The Late Great Nate McTate,” “Always Chew Your Food with Your Mouth Shut,” “Mine,” and of course, “P’s and Q’s: The ABC’s of Manners,” there is lots of fun to be had!
Main Street Theater has been awarded a Musical Theater: Access to Artistic Excellence Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce Ps and Qs. MST is one of 29 theaters nationally to receive an award in Musical Theater in the first of two rounds of funding for 2009.
About Composers and Lyricists Trout Fishing in America
- “Grimwood and Idlet are the Lennon and McCartney of kids’ music.” (NPR)
-"...embody a kind of goofball gestalt at odds with the sugary-sweet format of so much other music for the younger crowd...also perform unabashedly sentimental and wickedly funny songs for grown-ups, with an unexpected emotional punch." (New York Times)
One look at Trout Fishing In America tells you that this is no ordinary musical team. At 6' 9", guitarist/vocalist Ezra Idlet towers above his partner of over 3 decades, bassist/vocalist Keith Grimwood (5' 5 1/2"). The size difference may be what initially catches the eye, but the distinctive songs, superb musicianship, intelligence, humor, charm and performance skill is what has helped build their loyal, diverse fan base (of all ages) across North America over the past 30+ years.
Currently based in NW Arkansas, Grimwood and Idlet first teamed up in Houston, TX as members of the folk/rock band St. Elmo's Fire. Grimwood left a promising classical music career as bassist for the Houston Symphony and Idlet had been through a variety of rock and folk bands. Before the breakup of St. Elmo's Fire in 1979, Grimwood and Idlet began performing on the side as a duo. An impromptu event in the late '70s, had a profound effect on their career: they were asked to perform at a grade school. Since then, performing and recording for children has been a major focus of TFIA's music.
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA has received 25+ national awards including 4 Grammy nominations and 3 INDIE Album of the Year Awards. They've been featured on the "Today Show", NPR's "All Things Considered", "Morning Edition", "World Cafe", "Mountain Stage" and "Dr. Demento." Trout Fishing In America received a 2009 GRAMMY NOMINATION for 'Best Musical Album for Children' for "BIG ROUND WORLD" (Trout Records/September 2008).
The Grammy nomination capped off a great year for TFIA. "Big Round World" was selected to top NPR's "The Year in Music for Kids" List for 2008. ( http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97510376 ) The CD, which features a range of musical styles, with several songs derived from songwriting workshops with children, was also awarded a 2008 NAPPA GOLD AWARD and named a 2008 PARENTS' CHOICE SILVER AWARD winner. In June 2008, Performing Songwriter named Trout Fishing in America as one of their ‘100 Most Influential Independent Artists of the Past 15 Years'. TFIA entered into the world of children's books in 2008 inking a deal with Canadian publishing house The Secret Mountain. My Name Is Chicken Joe, a book/cd combination, was released this spring.
About Playwright Steve Garfinkel
Steve Garfinkel is a co-author of Stomp!, a rock musical that enjoyed a long run at the Public Theater and was included in Best American Plays, 1970-71. More recently Steve has authored 13 other plays which have been produced professionally throughout Houston, as well as in Nashville and Dallas, and has directed and/or appeared in more than 80 plays at Main Street Theater and other theaters in Houston, including the recent, nationally acclaimed production of Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing! at MST.
Steve Garfinkel currently serves as Director of Community Programs at the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. Prior to taking this position, where he develops non-credit, lifelong learning courses for adults, Steve served in several leadership positions in the K-12 arts-in-education field and the non-profit development/fundraising world. He has helped create or has assisted in numerous collaborations involving non-profit organizations.
Steve is a former board member of Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education, Artworks and Fly Dance Company, and is a current board member of Jaguar Sun, a multi-disciplinary Hispanic arts organization in the Houston community.
About the Production
Director Mark Adams returns after directing Sideways Stories from Wayside School and If You Give a Pig a Party for MST earlier this season. Michael Mertz is Music Director. The cast includes Steve Bullitt, Susan Draper, Julie Simpson Garcia, Aaron Glover, Alan Hall, Chelsea McCurdy, Shondra Marie, Chris Pool, and Micah Stinson.
The design team includes Meghan C. Hakes (set design), Robert Eubanks (lighting design), Macy Perrone (costume design), Bryan Nortin (sound design), and Richard Solis (properties design). Meghan C. Hakes is choreographer. Kendahl Atkinson is the Production Stage Manager.
No children under 5 allowed in the theater (including sleeping babies).