Prince Music Theater presents The Middle of Nowhere, a theatrical fantasy featuring songs by Randy Newman, and a book by Tracy Friedman.
Randy Newman's songs speak straight from the bones of America. As a Grammy and Emmy Award-winner he has received 16 Oscar® nominations for writing the scores of films ranging from Ragtime to Toy Story to Seabiscuit, and won an Oscar for Monsters, Inc. But Randy initially became famous during the 1960s and 70s for writing quirky, darkly funny, or sharply satirical songs that painted vivid portraits of true-to-life characters.
In this stage piece, the songs of Randy Newman are deftly woven into a contemporary "minstrel" show with the sociological punch that has made Newman America's foremost musical satirist. Set in 1969, five disparate characters find themselves stranded at a bus depot in a back-water Louisiana town. As the rain pours down, their personas pour forth. There's the station's janitor, the jingoistic salesman and his hitchhiking pick-up, the redneck with a guitar case full of beer, and the Black GI returning from Vietnam. In a succession of stylized vaudevillian set pieces, this show-within-a-show becomes a bittersweet allegory of American pluralism. In songs like "Sail Away," "Political Science," and "Days of Heaven," Newman deals with American upheaval, change, and triumph.