Radio Free Charleston returns, as seen above, with episode 119, “Transformer Shirt.” This episode features the RFC debut of Sasha Colette, a song from “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story,” a special surprise song from Symphony Idol winner Ryan Hardiman and DEVO/Valentine’s animation by Frank Panucci.
This week we’re bringing you another song from the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production of the Dan Kehde/Mark Scarpelli musical, “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story.” This time we include almost the entire cast, with featured solos by Nick Foster and Taylor Henderson.
The song they’re doing is called, “The Italian Song.” As with all the musical numbers in this production, it’s based on a painting by Norman Rockwell. While I was struck by the beauty of this bi-lingual song when I recorded it during a rehearsal, I didn’t get the full emotional impact until I saw how it had been staged. It’s powerful and striking and will leave even the most hardened theater-goer with moistened eyes.
You have three more chances to see “Norman Rockwell’s An American Love Story,” February 17, 18 and 19 at The WVSU Capital Center Theater, 123 Summers Street. For reservations and group discounts call 304-342-6522 during regular business hours.
Closing the show this week we have Maestro Scarpelli at the keys once more, backing up Ryan Hardiman. Last New Year’s Eve, Ryan performed as part of Charleston’s “Good Night” event at Trinity Lutheran Church, which made for a surreal setting for his lovely rendition of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars.”
You may notice that the host segments this week, and last week, seem a little sedate. Last week we shot our host segments right outside RFC’s Resident Diva Melanie Larch’s house. This week we shot in the courtyard at Hubbard Hospice House. Mel’s mother, Betty Larch, has been fighting cancer for most of the past year. Mel didn’t want to be too far from her, and that’s why we shot in both locations.
About an hour after we shot the host segments for RFC 119, Betty Larch passed away. This episode of the show is dedicated to her memory. She loved that her daughter performed on so many stages here in Charleston, and it’s nice that we just happened to feature Mel’s extended family in CYAC and her co-star in “Jack The Ripper,” Ryan Hardiman, on this installment of Radio Free Charleston. We think she really would’ve enjoyed it.