Photo | Kyle Meyer | “Closed Session”
Band: “Closed Session”
Date: June 15-17, 7:30 p.m. (2 p.m. matinee on Sunday)
Venue: Mobile Theatre Guild, 14 N. Lafayette St., www.mobiletheatreguild.org
Tickets: $15-$20, available through venue website
Last weekend, the Mobile Theatre Guild collaborated with Azalea City songwriting icon Milton Brown to give the public a day behind the scenes of the eventful Statler Recording Studio. Those who attended the opening weekend of the revived 1980s musical “Closed Session” met a plethora of colorful characters ranging from hopeful up-and-comers such as studio engineer/singer-songwriter Roger (Chris Powell) and vocalist Wimberly (Melissa Summersell), as well as recording studio lothario Biff (Larry Andrews). In addition, the audience was treated to performances from a number of Statler Recording Studio clients, such as Country Bob and The String Slingers, who “laid down tracks” over the course of the day.
While the cast provided a memorable performance, Milton Brown’s songs took center stage for the entirety of “Closed Session.” The soundtrack Brown compiled for this musical serve as a testament to his versatility as a songwriter. “Closed Session” features upbeat modern country tunes such as the trop rock inspired “Bikinis and Boots” and “I Just Can’t Leave It Alone,” to the bluegrass goodness of “My Dreams Still Don’t Know That You Are Gone.”
“Closed Session” also injects jazz-infused rag grooves such as the haunting “Archer Street Blues” and the infectious “It Ain’t Over (Till the Flat Lady Swings).” All the while, the “session musicians” and “studio clients” do a superb job providing the audience with their “live in-studio” performances.