MUSE/IQUE presents The UnAmericans: Talented and Targeted, a moving examination of the effects The Hollywood Blacklist had on musicians, singers, composers, writers, and actors in the mid-20th century.
In the face of stark opposition, threats, and censorship, a group of brave artists persevered and showed us the true meaning of American patriotism.
Built into the foundation of our country are the inalienable rights to freedom of speech, and the iconic artists whom we consider to embody American greatness reflect this principle. In other words, free expression of ideas is at the heart of being American.
But beginning in the late 1940s in the postwar era, rampant fears of communism led to the targeting of Americans everywhere, including our most talented artists. They were branded unpatriotic and UnAmerican, and blacklisted from the communities to which they belonged and from creating the movies and music for which they had long been celebrated.
Almost a century later, as we reflect on this dark chapter we can clearly see the daring sacrifice these targeted artists made in the name of their art and true American ideals. We also see that such retaliation speaks to the role artists play in shaping our world, broadening our perspectives, and opening our hearts and minds.
Artistic & Music Director Rachael Worby celebrates the magnificent story of the brave artists who lent their names and talents to help others during this chapter of American history.
Rachael will be joined by the incomparable vocalists Brandon Victor Dixon, Angie Fisher (making her MUSE/IQUE debut!), and the DC6 Singers Collective alongside our spectacular MUSE/IQUE orchestra for a celebration of the songs and stories of Yip Harburg, Hazel Scott, Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Pete Seeger, and more. Plus, special guests Wendie Malick and Dan Lauria join us to bring life to the defining poetry and text of the era. In this celebration of free expression, Rachael and our artists will examine the question of who gets to define who we are as Americans.
Through stirring performances of American classics including "Over The Rainbow", Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and more, you'll hear new stories that will leave you feeling moved and inspired.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Brandon Victor Dixon is an Emmy, GRAMMY, and Tony Award Nominated Actor, Producer, and Social advocate. He has produced multiple works including the Tony Award-winning Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris. Brandon has also performed in numerous Broadway shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple, and Motown The Musical. We are excited to welcome back Brandon for this performance!
Angie Fisher has built a sterling reputation as an in-demand session and background vocalist. The versatile singer has done studio sessions and toured with artists including Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, and Celine Dion. The Pasadena, Calif. native has appeared on such television shows as “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “American Idol” and “Saturday Night Live.” Angie will be making her MUSE/IQUE debut, and we are thrilled!
The DC6 Singers Collective are a Los Angeles-based ensemble of dynamic and energetic a cappella, gospel, and Motown singers. The DC6 Singers Collective have brought their uplifting and charismatic performances to audiences across the country via film (Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”), national television (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, etc.) and live events across the country. In harmony, the DC6 Singers Collective delivers a unique approach to gospel and Motown standards and breathes new life into classic and current pop standards.
While savvy television viewers will no doubt recognize prolific small-screen actress Wendie Malick from such popular series as Baywatch, Just Shoot Me, and HBO's smart and sexy comedy Dream On, the late '90s found her feature career warming up in such independent efforts as Manna From Heaven (2001) and Bathroom Boy (2003). A native of Buffalo, NY, who first found work gracing the catwalks of New York, Paris, and Madrid, it was a small role in the 1978 comedy How to Pick up Girls that provided the aspiring actress with her first screen break. In addition to her screen work, Wendie Malick met husband Richard Erickson while building homes for poor families in Mexico, and she also helps the homeless with her work for the Adopt-A-Family organization.
Dan Lauria is most loved and recognized as the dad on the highly acclaimed Emmy winning, ABC television show, THE WONDER YEARS which made him known as America’s favorite TV dad for six successful seasons. Dan is a very familiar face to the off-off, off and regional theatre scene having performed, written or directed over 50 professional stage productions. He has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty ‘Movie Of The Week’ productions plus a score of motion picture credits.
Tom Ranier has been a mainstay in the Los Angeles recording and jazz scenes for 50 years. A complete musician who is a masterful pianist, reed player, composer and arranger, Tom has worked with a Who’s Who of artists throughout his career. The jazz luminaries he has worked with include Dave Pike, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, George Coleman, Frank Rosolino, among many others. He has also been the pianist for such notable singers as Barbra Streisand, Carmen McRae, Helen Reddy, Natalie Cole, Seth MacFarlane, and most recently, Tony Bennett. His television work includes the shows “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “The Simpsons,” and “Dancing with the Stars.” He has recorded soundtracks for are “Forest Gump,” “Frozen,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Tom has also been a frequent member of the Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards Orchestras as a pianist and arranger.
The MUSE/IQUE Orchestra
Led by Rachael Worby
Michael Valerio (Principal) Bass/Arrangements
Jamey Tate Drums/Vocals/Arrangements
Justin Smith Guitar
Armen Anassian - Violin I
Paul Cartwright - Violin II
Brady Steel Orchestra Contractor
Caroline Boyce Librarian
Thank you to our generous season sponsors:
Anonymous (2), Avery and Andrew Barth, Michael Casey, Nancy and Michael Harahan, The Havner Family Foundation, Ellen and Harvey Knell, The Jerry and Terri Kohl Family Foundation, Lois Madison: The Madison Foundation for Families, Debbie and Rick Powell, and Alyce de Roulet Williamson.