The Midnight Company will feature two original cabaret shows as part of their 2023 season, and the first – JUST ONE LOOK, the story of the legendary singer Linda Ronstadt – will play at The Blue Strawberry on Wednesdays March 1, 8 and 15 at 7:30pm. The show stars Kelly Howe as Ronstadt, and it’s written and directed by Midnight Creative Director Joe Hanrahan, and tickets, at $25, are on sale now at BlueStrawberrySTL.com or by calling 314-256-1745. (In July, Midnight will present YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU, a very personal tribute to Judy Garland, at The Blue Strawberry.)
Hanrahan said “Jim Dolan of The Blue Strawberry and I have discussed incorporating a theatrical element into classic cabaret, and with the Linda Ronstadt show, we’re aiming to create that.” Dolan said “Blue Strawberry is excited to be working with Joe Hanrahan and Midnight to present this show. As a longtime fan of Joe and Midnight’s work, we are honored to be a part of this production.”
After Linda Ronstadt’s long success on the pop music charts, she went on to triumphs on Broadway with Gilbert and Sullivan, 3 albums of the Great American Songbook with Nelson Riddle, Mariachi and lullaby albums, and much more. She had 3 number 1 hit albums, and 10 albums in the top ten. She recorded over 30 albums, and appeared as a guest on 120 albums by other artists – from Philip Glass to a duet with Homer Simpson. There was a number 1 single, 3 number 2s, 10 top ten singles, 21 reaching the top 40, and two number 1 hits on the Country charts. Ronstadt’s hits included Different Drum, Blue Bayou, Desperado, It’s So Easy, the title song of this show and many more. Her worldwide album sales totaled more than fifty million, she won ten Grammy Awards, she’s a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and she’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Hanrahan said “Both Kelly and I have a deep appreciation for the great music Linda Ronstadt delivered. Both her rockers and her ballads are among our favorite songs. We aim to remind people who she was, and to honor her work and her life.”
Her songbook featured collaborations with some of the biggest names in music, and her personal life included longterm relationships with, among others, Governor Jerry Brown of California when he was running for president, and George Lucas of STAR WARS.
In JUST ONE LOOK, Hanrahan will portray a veteran rock ’n roll journalist who finally gets to interview his unrequited love, Ronstadt, though she’s now retired to her hometown of Tucson, suffering from Parkinson’s disease. In the course of the show, they remember her debut in Los Angeles, and Howe becomes the younger Linda, recalling her storybook career and singing her great songs.
Kelly Howe was nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the St. Louis Critics Circle for her role in The Black Rep’s SWEAT. In St. Louis, she’s also been seen in TOMMY (Stray Dog), THE APHRA BEHN FESTIVAL (SATE) and RODNEY’S WIFE (Midnight.)
Joe Hanrahan, Midnight’s Artistic Director, directed Midnight productions of RODNEY’S WIFE and ST. LOUIS WOMAN in 2022. For the Company, recent Hanrahan scripts have been ST. LOUIS WOMAN and ANOMALOUS EXPERIENCE in 2022, and NOW PLAYING THIRD BASE FOR THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS…BOND, JAMES BOND and TINSEL TOWN in 2021. Both of those scripts were nominated for Best New Play by the Critics Circle, with TINSEL TOWN receiving the award. Previously Joe has also directed for The Black Rep (THE BROWNSVILLE RAID and NO CHILD), SATE (CUDDLES) and R-S (THE FLICK).
Miranda Jagels Felix will Assistant Direct. She directed Kelly Howe for THE APHRA BEHN FESTIVAL (SATE), assistant directed and performed for THE GOOD SHIP ST. LOUIS (Upstream), performed in HAG-SEED (Prison Performing Arts) and will assistant direct UNCLE VANYA (The Actors Studio) in February.
The JUST ONE LOOK Band will be led by Music Director/Pianist Curt Landes. Curt has played with Chuck Berry, Albert King, Glenn Campbell, John Hartford and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at numerous national and local music festivals. Tom Maloney will be on guitar and bass. Tom was the Music Director the an international Johnnie Johnson tour. He’s played with everybody from Jerry Vale to Homesick James, and recently co-wrote and produced Jeremiah Johnson’s #1 song on the Billboard Blues Chart, HiFi Drive. And Mark Rogers will handle percussion and provide backup vocals. Mark co-founded many local bands, including Street Corner Symphony, Walnut Park Athletic Club and The Heaters. He proudly claims that he’s used the same drum set since 1968, and and the same milk can as a drum stool since 1973.
After JUST ONE LOOK, Midnight’s 2023 season will continue with THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY (May 4-20 at the Kranzberg Black Box), THE YEARS (July 13-29 at The Chapel), YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU (July 26, August 2 & 9 at The Blue Strawberry) and THE LION IN WINTER (October 5-21 at the .ZACK.)
For more information, visit midnightcompany.com.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.