America has long had a proud tradition and a deep commitment to protest and protest songs.
Dating back to the 18th century, the colonial period and beyond and the latest play at Crown City Theatre honors that tradition. In these troubling and intemperate times, gathering together to listen and even to sing along to these iconic, important and rousing odes to the freedoms this country allows us, is perhaps one of the only antidotes to our frustrations.
A play in two acts, ‘Roar’ is hosted by the band leader Davitt Felder, the creator and writer. Together with his band, The 1st Amendments, Mr Felder takes us on a journey through the history of the protest song, from the traditional spiritual “Down by the Riverside,” to Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land” and Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence,” the songs are introduced and placed in their particular moments in time. The effect is beguiling. The live band, who are brilliant, and the passion and talent of Mr Felder keep our toes tapping and our eyes teary with pride.
Michelle Holmes as Bass/Vocals, Corey Watkins as Keyboards/Vocals, Davitt Felder as Guitar/Vocals
The second act brings us more up to date and focuses on the last forty years or so. The power songs of the eighties, celebrating gay pride, the falling of the Berlin Wall, the struggles of the failing middle class in America and the difficulties our global responsibility to justice and freedom bring. All these subjects and many more are encompassed in unforgettable songs from Springsteen, George Micheal, Pink Floyd, and Neil Young, Mr Felder even gives us a couple of his originals, both of which stand up very well indeed in some extremely good company…
It’s a night of love, humor and hope.
We are reminded of the importance of our connections to each other and how, even in the darkest of times, we need to return to what is fundamental and universal…truth, justice and our innate human ability to believe in one another. Oh, and there is also a space for dancing, which is encouraged, and people actually got up and danced with abandon…which was wonderful…
Hugh F Brockington III as Vocals, Davitt Felder as Guitar/Vocals, Noah Hernandez as Guitar
It’s a rare occasion lately that I have felt hopeful…it’s mostly doom and gloom and social media fury and I are as guilty as anyone of feeling apathetic. So I am most grateful to Crown City and ‘Roar’ for shaking me up a little and surrounding me with people who care about our world and each other. The journey through impassioned resistance in song is a worthy one and with a great band like The 1st Amendments and a great leader like Davitt Felder to guide us, it also becomes a hugely enjoyable one.
If you’ve a penchant for leaning in and a love of music then “Roar” at The Crown City Theater is right up your alley…I highly recommend it!
Crown City Theatre Company, 11031 Camarillo St, North Hollywood, 91602
Extends through June 4!
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3 pm
Directed by Antonia Bogdanovich
Davitt Felder and the First Amendments
(Michael Anetsberger, Hugh Brockington III, Davitt Felder, Michelle Holmes, Corey Watkins, Hugh F. Brockington III)
BEHIND THE SCENES:
Director - Antonia Bogdanovich
Costume Design - Michael Mullen
Sound Design - Shane Howard
Lighting Design - Zad Potter
Production Stage Manager - Zad Potter
House Manager - Michael Pammit
Producers/Artistic Directors for Crown City - Gary Lamb and Bill Reilly