Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Southern Lights 

It's the Summer of the Musical, and this one plays like a honky-tonk ballad

Wednesday, Jun 23 2004
This summer would seem to be the Season of the Musical in San Francisco; you can't kick a dog anywhere downtown without disrupting some kind of musical play. Lee Brady's Southern Lights is a "country music romance" that plays like a honky-tonk ballad -- twangy, rueful, and a little damp. Lonn McGee is a lonely singer trying to hold up the rafters of a declining country-western venue called the Crossroads, in East Texas. His ex-girlfriend, Callie, has wandered back to town. In high school they had a semi-incestuous romance: Callie is the daughter of a country-music legend named Cash Callendar who adopted Lonn as a teenager (so they were brother and sister, but not by blood). Ghosts of Callendar and Callie's mom, LouAnn, haunt the Crossroads, and we watch both romances play out in alternating scenes. The characters are involving, but the show lacks energy; original songs by Don Seaver and Julie Jackson would benefit from a live country band. Robin Abbott, as Callendar, looks and sounds the part of a country legend, but he plays guitar the way some actors try to speak German. But Lisa Marie Newton as Callie and especially Leigh Anne Marchesi as LouAnn have sweet, lilting voices; their performances brighten the melodrama. "Oh, Lonnie," says Callie to her sad-sack would-be lover, "why dontcha put that line in a jukebox and charge a quarter for it?"


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"