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Birth of The Cool - One4Review

There are some shows you see that you don’t want to end. Birth of the Cool comes into this category. This is an absolutely absorbing fusion of narrative and jazz. At this point I should admit to being a jazz enthusiast, but this production should a universal appeal. The narrative outlines the story of the 1950’s Beat generation of writers Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. In America of that period marked by the Cold War, McCarthyism and consumerism the Beat writers rebelled against accepted morality. Living in New York, they lived life to excess – drugs, drink and sex. The Beats were inspired by the revolutionary jazz of the New York scene – the bebop of Charlie Parker and the cool of Miles Davis, for example. The jazz trio on stage provide a beautiful and natural link to the narrative.  Although set in what seems a far-off period, this production has relevance to all age groups. It was the Beat generation of writers who, despite their self destructive life style, inspired the mass movements of protest of the last 50 years. Full credit to John Turnbull, narrator and co writer (along with the Director, Camilla Rountree), for a stylish performance. Also to the band, Paul Cutlan (composer, saxophones, clarinets), Fabian Hevia (percussion, vibraphone) and Steve Arie (bass) for musicianship of the highest order. Birth of the Cool is an inventive and compelling theatrical treat.  *****

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