This ground-breaking musical theatre production, technically an ‘opera’ since the play is entirely sung, uses sharp political satire and serious dramatic commentary to tell the tale of a group of homeless people in an inner Canadian city. Six main characters sing of their plight and point out the personal impact that our current global situation can have on us all. Gordon’s most ambitious work, with 24 songs; it manages to convey an important and timely, politically-charged message with a sense of humour. Quite possibly the first “anti-globalization activist musical,” Hardscrabble Road raises the art of the “protest song” to a new and entertaining level!
Inspired by the “Beggar’s Opera” and its successor the “Three-Penny Opera” – Hardscrabble Road’s music is a hybrid combination of folk, pop, jazz, rock and world beat sounds. Recorded at Guelph’s Pipe Street Studio and produced by James and his son Evan, this recording features the original cast from the 2003 live debut at Guelph’s River Run Centre. Gordon shares the lead vocals with a “Who’s Who” of the Guelph area’s music scene: Ken Brown, Nonie Crete, Sandy Horne, Amy Nodwell and Ryan Schneider. Lois Cherry, Marion Linton, Evan Gordon and Randall Coryell join James as the principle instrumentalists. Order the CD by clicking here.
Robert Reid of Nightlife Magazine said this about the play: “Gordon’s satirical wit is sharp, but it’s leavened with moments of compassion and tenderness, which makes for a poignant musical experience.” We think you’ll agree.