Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 6:26 pm | Fair 71º


Out of the Box to Stop Time With ‘35MM: A Musical Exhibition’

Based on a series of photographs by Matthew Murphy, ‘35mm’ combines musical theater and photographic showcase. Click to view larger
Based on a series of photographs by Matthew Murphy, ‘35mm’ combines musical theater and photographic showcase. (Out of the Box Theatre Company photo)

A new multimedia production by Out of the Box Theatre Company, 35mm, explores an innovative musical theater concept. Can a picture inspire a song? Or 15?

The production is a cross-genre photographic/musical exhibition in which 15 featured photographs have each inspired a unique song to define those moments frozen in time, glimpses of life unfolding.

Out of the Box Theatre Company, a local theater company that is constantly pushing to broaden the theater and art experience in Santa Barbara, is thrilled to present 35mm this spring at Center Stage Theater.

This production is both musical theater and photographic showcase, with songs inspired by photographic content from internationally recognized photographer Matthew Murphy, who specializes in photography for theater and dance.

Murphy regularly photographs Broadway’s hits, including Kinky Boots, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera.

Murphy’s husband, Broadway favorite Ryan Scott Oliver, wrote the accompanying music and lyrics. It’s a song-cycle in which seemingly unrelated songs feed into each other in a concert-style theatrical showcase.

The songs range in style from up-beat, campy numbers like “Caralee,” in which a long-suffering male nanny sings about his charge, the hilariously bratty Caralee; to numbers of dark humor, such as “The Ballad of Sara Berry,” about a girl who will stop at nothing to be prom queen; to poignant songs of sadness and regret such as “The Party Goes With You” about a love affair that never satisfies and “Leave Luanne,” an intense ballad of abuse and escape.

In their efforts to branch out via social media, Out of the Box Theatre Company has designed an Instagram campaign to pair with this production as an opportunity to connect with audience members in a new and unique way.  

By uploading photos to Instagram using the hastags #35MM_SB and #35MMWALL, participants can see their photographs displayed as Instax Mini prints on a large photo wall that will be displayed throughout the run of the show. The photographs can be either be collected and taken home or left on the wall for other audience members to see.

35mm features a cast made up of Out of the Box alumni and newcomers alike, including Sophie Holt, Tad Murroughs (john & jen, BARE), Shannon Saleh (Bonnie & Clyde), Christopher Short (Assassins, Evil Dead, Next to Normal, Bonnie & Clyde, BARE), Kelly Sparrman and Zachary Allen (Heathers).

Directed by Samantha Eve with musical direction by Kacey Link. Concessions will be available in the courtyard at intermission. Upgraded tickets for on-stage cabaret tables complete with beverages and treats are also available.

35mm is an exciting and innovative way to enjoy an exhibition of live music, musical theater and photography. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind artistic event.

35mm Runs Thursday through Saturday, March 31 through April 9. All Shows begin at 8 p.m.

Maggie Yates represents Out of the Box Theatre Company.


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