So, there I am in the featured picture waiting impatiently for The Front Row Fringe Festival to begin this Thursday, March 11. I think “Un-Block The Music” can speak for most everyone in saying we miss live events! This Fringe festival is going to give you 17 shows over four days. Best of all, you will get to see a show from Dr. Jeff and Jacob Foy, the father son writing team that inspired WFYL 1180 AM’s radio show “From Bullets To Broadway, Anatomy of A Show, Featuring Emergency The Musical” (FBTB). That broadcast, as you most probably know is hosted by Sgt. Dan McCaughan on Saturdays at noon. Lucky for me, I get to listen in and get first dibs at follow-up interviews.
If you missed FBTB this past weekend, it will be rebroadcast on Saturday, March 13. The focus of the latest episode of FBTB was a little different. While we usually learn about the makings of a show by breaking down the specifics of the Foys’ musicals, Emergency and recently One Night Only, this week we talked about Fringe Festivals. The original term Fringe Festival comes from Edinburgh where for three weeks each summer the city explodes with creativity. Shows include theater, comedy, dance, spoken word…you name it. Led by producers at Lahser Rd. Theatricals (Slave Play) and the Foys, Front Row Fringe will also offer a variety of genres.
Although known for their musicals, the Foys will be putting forth a comedy with one song, the show is called Z Team (https://thezteam.show/). Go to the website for tickets.
As you heard during the broadcast, Safe and Sound The Musical co-written by my daughter, Holly Block and Elizabeth Jerjan will also debut (more on this musical later in the week.) Jacob is the instrumental orchestrator of this show as well (https://www.safeandsoundmusical.com/fringe-festival-tickets)!!!
With the festival being so new, the work to get it up and going has been phenomenal for those involved, but “Un-Block the Music” hopes other musical creators will have some time to talk to me during the week. If you haven’t already, follow this blog and you will receive emails when new stories post. In the meantime, the Foys talked to me about their involvement. Lahser Rd. Theatricals posted their desire to create this new festival on a theater Facebook group. “We contacted them and had a ZOOM meeting and decided that we would all work together on it,” Jeff said.
Jacob said, he and his dad thought it was a good idea to be involved in creating a festival to broaden their network with producers and actors, and just to become more well-known in the business. “It was also a great way to put up our own show, Z Team.”
When “Un-Block The Music” spoke to the duo, they were about to start rehearsals for Z Team. Up until now, they were doing show recruiting and whatever else Lahser needed them to do. Jeff talked of the juggling act. While putting the festival together, “I have also been rewriting the script and cast bios for Z Team, creating the Playbill, getting the props and doing all that type of legwork.” Don’t forget, Jacob is still a college student, and is working towards graduation this year.
“Un-Block The Music” wants to tell you about casting. I think this is a hopeful note for actors who often times feel invisible at auditions. Z Team’s cast came together with actors the Foys have met before. “Somebody may not have been right for a show we were casting at the time of their audition, but if we liked them, we kept them in mind for something they would be perfect for down the line,” Jeff said.
In addition to Fringe’s 17 shows, six speakers are scheduled for question-and-answer time as well. Speakers include: Blair Russell (producer, Slave Play), Ron Simons (producer, Ain’t Too Proud), Cody Lassen (producer, Deaf West Theatre Revival of Spring Awakening), Choreographer Hope Easterbrook (who also performed in Hamilton), Stephanie Klemons (original dance captain Hamilton), and last but absolutely not least, Jacob Foy! More details as to how to buy tickets coming soon.
Opening ceremonies for the festival will be on Thursday, March 11 at 7p.m. “Un-Block The Music” will post details on how to join when I receive them this week.
Each show has its own link to buy tickets, but you can find listings on the festival site. Also note, that times listed for each show are Central Times (https://www.frontrowfringefestival.com/festival-info)
If you have missed any of the other past episodes of “From Bullets To Broadway,” it’s not too late to hear them. Go to https://www.1180wfyl.com/ and hit “podcasts.”