Composer Loyal Guerre is losing his composure. He’s blocked. But wait! He gets inspired by a man who lives on the same block. That neighbor seems to be really out there; he’s exposed, eschewing privacy. A kind of transparency, given that his windows are devoid of curtains. Evidently, Loyal finds that man so fascinating that soon they intertwine. In Marie Amthor Schuett’s premiering Neighbors, Lover and All the Others at Shelterbelt there is more to be revealed than what can be seen from outside.
Schuett says that her play was inspired, among several influences, by singer, songwriter composer Rufus Wainright who, at an early age, much admired the sounds and stage personas of Edit Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland. Re the last, so much did he admire her that this resulted in his Grammy Award nominated album “Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall” featuring songs from Garland’s famed recording there in 1961, Amthor says she’s likewise a big fan of the lady.
Equally Schuett points to stimulus from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams As if that weren’t enough, she cites impetus from a time hanging out in the Rockies where she felt “self-indulgent, luxurious and free.”
The playwright has had other scripts staged at Shelterbelt, one of them was a shard of Shattering the Glass: A Celebration of Omaha Women in Theatre during 2016. That was the same year that her Constellations was performed as part of the Playhouse’s alternative programs. And, in 2015, The Other Sewing Circle debuted at Shelterbelt.
Elizabeth Thompson directs this, as she did the above. About this play Thompson asks “Who doesn’t want a few hours of jazz, opera, romance, drama, lots of laughs, and spritzers on a warm summer’s evening?”
Neighbors, Lovers and All the Others is performed July 14-Aug. 6. Shelterbelt Theatre, 3225 California St. Thurs-Sat.: 8 p.m. Sun: 6 p.m. 8/6 : 2 p.m. Tickets: $15-$25 http://www.shelterbelt.org/