Peak to Peak produces high drama
William, William! What Have You Done?, the Peak to Peak Chorale’s latest Musical Theatre Production, is much more than a historic piece filled with inspiring music. It is a tale of betrayal, romance, gossip and western justice that ends in one of the most shocking scenes the Chorale has delivered to date.
William, William! played to a full house at the Black Forest Restaurant in Nederland on Friday, May 3.
The musical is a blend of chorale songs that were popular at the time, folk songs, Stephen Foster classics, biblical references, Steven Sondheim and traditional spirituals. The folk song, Hangman, is the somber tune that accompanies the dropping of the trap door as a murderer is hanged by the neck. The audience gasps as William Van Horn, played by Chuck Roberts dangles from the noose and pianist Andre Mallinger accompanies the chorale in the dirge.
The story is historical accurate, depicting the murder of Josiah Copeland who was murdered on October 17, 1863 by his lover’s husband, Van Horn. The plot involves the romantic entanglement, the local gossip mill and ultimately the court scene in which Van Horn is sentenced to death.
With harmonies and solos, the music is powerful, evoking images of the early west in the Central City mining district area. The chorus spotlights women in their fancy hats, men in their suits and top hats and the actors in their period costumes.
Often the audience is compelled to sing along with the well-known favorites; in other moments, they are silent, rapt in the drama that unfolds before them. Director Ann Wyss keeps the production moving along with energy and precision. Accompanist Mallinger meets the daunting challenge of non-stop performance, adding to the musical emotions of the drama.
There is one more performance and if you haven’t seen the show yet, you can attend the Concert and Full Buffet at the Gilpin County Recreation Center on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 6 p.m.