Saturday, February 02 2013 - 9:30 pm
Court House, NJ
Telephone: (609) 463-1924
Who says classical music isn’t fun? Not Charles Lindberg, star of “Ludwig Live,” a rollicking 90-minute, one-act show where Ludwig von Beethoven appears onstage to prove life is not only a cabaret, it can be downright therapeutic.
The two-person show, scheduled to appear Feb. 2 at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center, will bring Beethoven to life.
According to Lindberg, he and his costar, Katherine Pecevich, have taken the New York-based show on the road for over a year.
“The premise of the show is that Ludwig von Beethoven is still alive and the one thing he has never done is a cabaret show, so he’s decided to do a cabaret show,” Lindberg told the Herald in a phone interview from Florida, where he is appearing.
“He has a whole show that tells his life with a bunch of other cast members and apparently before the show starts he has thrown a fit and the entire cast quits, leaving the stage manager there,” said Lindberg.
Leaving only the stage manager to support his performance, Beethoven decides she can fill in for the missing cast members.
Lindberg said during the course of the show songs are played that not only reveal portions of Beethoven’s past, but also people in his life, including his mother, girlfriends, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn.
“The stage manager, played by Katherine, performs all the different roles,” said Lindberg.
The show includes classical Beethoven pieces that have been put to music, said the star. Lindberg said added the one number in the show that is not classically-based is an interaction between Beethoven and Mozart that is a spoof on the Irving Berlin tune “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun.”
Lindberg, a classically trained pianist, said he has been playing for decades.
“My mother said I started when I was two,” said the 55-year-old performer.
His love of music has served him throughout his life. A voice major in college, Lindberg’s hand in Ludwig Live can be seen in the adaptations of the music as well as in its arrangements. He appears on stage for the entire length of the show.
“It’s definitely a comedy,” said Lindberg. “There is something funny about a manic-depressive genius going off the handle.”
Considered one of the greatest composers of all time, part of Beethoven’s legacy is his deafness. That, too, is dealt with in the show.
“He wasn’t deaf in the first part of his life,” said Lindberg who is somewhat a Beethoven historian. “He wasn’t deaf until around the Fifth Symphony.
“That is addressed in the show,” said Lindberg. He noted since the show is based in modern times, as part of the fun, the composer has the opportunity to try hearing aids.
Lindberg said not only is the show funny, show-goers will find themselves learning things about Beethoven they might not have known before.
“The people in his life, all the things that happen in the show are real,” he said. “The thing is, it’s just silly comedy. It’s ridiculous to have this 170-year-old character who is alive and kicking and wants to do a cabaret show.”
For fans of classical music, the show will be equally enjoyable, said Lindberg. According to the pianist, the integrity of the compositions has been kept intact.
“What I am playing are the actual piano pieces that he wrote, underneath the melodies that we are singing,” said Lindberg. “There is the integrity of the classical music.”
Lindberg said the show provides a fun evening. “It’s non-stop,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The show, which has performed in venues up and down the East Coast, will open the PAC’s 21st season. Tickets are $25 each. Information and reservations are available by contacting the PAC at 609-463-1924.