Stephens music instructor and well-known Columbia musician Tom Andes will host a concert reading of his original musical “Color Blind” this weekend.
The reading—which will include performances of all 17 original songs—starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.
“Color Blind” is the story of Michael, a depressed alcoholic art professor who loses his ability to see color, forcing him to paint in black and white. When he loses his sight altogether following an alcohol-spurred car accident, he has to completely rethink his artistic abilities.
John Leen, a guest artist from Chicago, will read the script of Michael, with Stephens theatre students Katie Pautler and Shinah Brashears filling the lead female roles.
Ed Hanson, creative director of Talking Horse Productions in Columbia, will also be making a guest appearance. Theatre Professor Rob Doyen will narrate, setting the scenes for the audience. Students from Andes’ class along with members of The Velvetones, an a capella group on campus, will also perform some of the numbers.
Andes has been working on the music, lyrics and book for four years following an especially successful summer at Stephens Okoboji Summer Theatre in Iowa.
“I was so inspired; it was the best theatre experience I’d had, so I started formulating a musical of my own,” he said.
It was also during a season at Okoboji where Andes got the inspiration for his plot. There, a friend asked him what he’d do if he ever lost his hearing.
“It was a dramatic thought to me,” he said. “So I decided to write a play about a visual artist who loses his sight.”
This is the third and final reading before Andes hopes to see the musical on stage in a full performance.
Sunday’s attendees “can expect a concert,” he said. “I wrote it as a vehicle for my music. So it’s a concert, basically, with some dramatic overtones.”
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