| 2 min read | by Lynne Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org |
“Does everybody know what’s going down, when you leave the drivin’ to Greyhound?”
Roadsigns is the newest work from playwright and founder of the Purple Rose Theatre Company (PRTC), Jeff Daniels and is currently running at PRTC. Music by Jeff Daniels and Ben Daniels.
The play follows Lanny (David Bendena) who begins his story in a modern-day coffeehouse folk club. Lanny tells his story of how he ended up where he is with what began as a Greyhound bus ride to Chicago.
Lanny, as a young poet in the mid-1970’s, embarks on a journey to find himself. He soon finds that the Greyhound bus to Chicago is filled with travelers also following a dream or hoping to build upon one.
The tales of the passengers on that bus ride are filled with hope and compassion as they travel to that Chicago terminal, including the driver of the bus, Walter (Tom Whalen), a retired barkeeper. As the passengers gaze aimlessly out the bus windows, they begin sharing their stories with each other. Francine (Kristin Shields) a recent single mom of five-year-old twin boys begins the conversation about refrigerators. Tanesha (K Edmonds) is headed to Motown to be the next Aretha Franklin, Robert (Richard McWilliams) is a drunken preacher looking for the “Promised Land”, Esther (Ruth Crawford) is a grandmother who recently experienced loss, Harmon (Rusty Mewha) is a new Army recruit while Darlene (Caitlin Cavannaugh) is a young girl who hopes for anything but where she has been.
As an audience member watching the production of Roadsigns at PRTC, one can not help but feel like a passenger on that bus as the stories become real in some way or form. As the performers graciously sing their songs, it becomes surreal.
Roadsigns was inspired by a poem written several years ago by Lanford Wilson and given to Jeff Daniels to turn into a song, according to Guy Sanville Director of Roadsigns at PRTC.
Roadsigns will be featured at PRTC from now until March 14. The play is approximately two hours in length without intermission and also includes adult content. For tickets or for more information contact the Purple Rose Theatre located at 137 Park Street, Chelsea at 734-433-7673 or visit PurpleRoseTheatre.org.
As a side note, if one has never been to a PRTC production, one may want to include it on their bucket list. The talented cast and crew provide an amazing theater experience while the staff of PRTC are wonderfully accommodating to their guests.