Nautilus Rough Cuts takes the stage tonight and tomorrow

Nautilus Rough Cuts takes the stage tonight and tomorrow

This week, Nautilus Music Theater continues its 19th season of Rough Cuts, the new music series featuring explorations in musical theater. Tonight's event take place at Nautilus Studio in Lowertown St. Paul, and tomorrow's will be in the choir room of Augsburg College's Music Building. 

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This month's installment features excerpts from works including Sexual Side Effects, a song cycle by composer Corey Dargel; and an excerpt from Lamb in Love, a musical work-in-progress by writer Annie Kessler and composer Louise Beach. 

Ben Krywosz, artistic director for Nautilus, says Dargel's Sexual Side Effects includes "four short, quirky songs that each explore one particular aspect of sexual interaction." Of the songs in the series, "there's a wonderful precision about them. The music is a lot of fun," Krywosz says. The song cycle was originally written for a Baroque soprano, but Nautilus will be presenting it in four voices. Dargel also worked with Nautilus a few years ago, when he performed a piece called Removable Parts, about a subculture of people who voluntarily get their body parts removed.

The other piece, Lamb in Love, is based on a book by the same name about a postmaster in late 1960s rural England, and his various -- often failed -- adventures in finding love. Krywosz says the piece has an operetta-ish style. "There's a turn-of-the-century feel to it," he says. "It's charming. There's a real unique voice to the music." 

Rough Cuts will also include theatrical explorations developed through Nautilus's mentorship program, which the company began last year. Mentees Laurel Armstrong, Kym Chambers Otto, Joey Clark, and Jim Ramlett, have been working alongside Nautilus veterans Gary Briggle, JP Fitzgibbons, and Vanessa Gamble, as well as music director Jill Dawe. 

The mentors and mentees will be showing different song projects where they'll present selected phrases using existing songs and creating entirely new theatrical pieces, in some cases with additional music. Rather than just having the mentees perform the song in a traditional way, Krywosz says the idea is to have the performers think of themselves as creative artists, as opposed to interpretive artists.  

In January, Nautilus will preview I am Anne Frank at the Southern Theater with actors Vanessa Gamble and Joel Liestman, stage direction by Ben Krywosz, and music direction by Jill Dawe. Also look out for the February Rough Cuts series, where the organization will be collaborating with choreographer Penelope Freeh as part of the University of Minnesota Creative Collaborations program. 


Rough Cuts
7:30 p.m. Monday, December 17 at Nautilus Studio
The second floor of the Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince St., St. Paul
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 18 in the choir room in the Music Building at Augsburg College
22nd Avenue at Riverside, Minneapolis
Call 651.298.9913 for reservations, or e-mail [email protected]
Tickets are $5, or pay-as-able
Cookies and milks provided
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