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Boca theater hosts concert staging of 'Song of Solomon'

In a one-night-only performance, the musical "Song of Solomon" gets a concert staging at The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton on Jan. 19 starting at 7:30 p.m.

The musical is about an orphan girl in ancient Israel who captures the heart of King Solomon with her beauty, intelligence and candor, leading to a conflict over whether the ruler will choose love over politics.

"[The musical] has deep religious roots. I think there will be a deep appreciation of the subject matter," says Delray Beach's Drew Tucker, one of the musical's co-producers. "I think the audiences in Boca and Palm Beach County will really appreciate the content of this work."

The Wick's production will star Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli ("Jekyll & Hyde," "Les Miserables," "Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark").

The show, written by Andrew Beall and Neil Van Leeuwen, is hopefully Broadway-bound, says Tucker.

"This is something that is missing in theater today, especially on Broadway," adds Tucker. "There's less and less of original Broadway shows like 'Les Miserables,' 'Phantom' or 'Evita.' Instead it's a movie remake or a Disney remake. Now that's nice, but you don't have that epic feel. You don't feel that earth shift."

Tucker, a percussionist who also teaches the Impact 100 Drumline music program for children from low-income households at Delray Beach's Arts Garage, says he met Beall years ago in mutual musician circles. The two quickly started talking about the composer's work-in-progress in between Beall's gigs on Broadway in the orchestra of shows such as "The Lion King" and "In The Heights" as well as playing at the Latin Grammys for artists such as Gloria Estefan, John Legend, Santana and Jon Secada.

"It was just beautiful music," Tucker recalls. "I think it was marimba and a soprano voice. At first, he was turning it into an opera and then we started talking about his love of musical theater and mine ... when he decided to make it into a musical. It's been about four years since that discussion."

The work has since evolved from a song cycle into a full-fledged musical with classical, Middle Eastern, Latin and Broadway styles. From there, "Song of Solomon" made the rounds in theater festivals and other concert performances including one by the Erato Chamber Orchestra at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Depending on reaction from Monday's concert staging, the producers hope for a full production run this summer at the Wick.

"Marilynn Wick (the theater's executive producer) has been wonderful, and you couldn't ask for a better theater," says Tucker. "They are really forward-thinking. They know what it takes to produce a show."

"Song of Solomon" is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Tickets are $40. To order, call 561-995-2333 or go to TheWick.org.

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