2019-2020 Season

Baroness Bianka's Bloodsongs

BARONESS BIANKA'S BLOODSONGS

by Joanna Weinberg

North American Premiere
October 18- November 2, 2019
Preview October 17, 2019
Studio Theatre ATB Financial Arts Barns

Featuring: Kristin Johnston as Baroness Bianka
Director Set & Costumes: Trevor Schmidt
Music Direction and Sound Design: Darrin Hagen

Quotes:
“There it vas – my birthmark, the mark of the beetroot upon my thigh.

That is a sure sign of curse of the madwoman’s descendant. Ven a voman witt the curse of the beetroot turns 50 and cease to menstruate, she vill begin the blood madness. She vill begin the quest for eternal youth. She vill vont to ingest the blood and she vill even kill for it. “

BARONESS BIANKA’S BLOODSONGS tackles the issue of addiction head-on through the revelations of a quirky Bulgarian Baroness who has unquenchable, unspeakable yearnings. A black comedy with a blood-red heart, the show explores life with an unusual addiction and the battle to overcome it. A wicked one woman cabaret about a spooky character with a fetish for blood.

She doesn’t drink it like your common-or-garden vampire, but she can sniff out someone’s blood group at hundred paces. Becoming a nurse to satisfy her obsession with blood, Bianka bathes in swirls of blood, relishes the sight of self-inflicted cuts and finds profound bliss in menstruating. The comedy is as black as a blood bath is bright, and Baroness is daffy and utterly engaging- a character from a fictional Eastern European country, with a thick accent to match, who has had a yen for blood ever since her detested nanny met an unfortunate, squishy end.

Battling her bizarre addiction while accompanying herself on the instrument from her mythical homeland, Baroness Bianka yearns to live a normal life free from the passion which plagues her. Is the Gypsy right? Does she really carry the Mark of the Beetroot and if so, what does it mean for the Baroness and the people she encounters?  Despite the specific references to hemophilia and darkly comic elements, underneath it all lies common struggles with any addiction. Songs of blood are the way towards healing and self-acceptance in this North American premiere of the tenth one woman show from award winning songwriter Joanna Weinberg.

Last seen as Victoria in NLT’S THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES, Kristin Johnston will be taking on the titular role in our season opener, BARONESS BIANKA’S BLOODSONGS.  Self-accompanied on the accordion, we look forward to Ms. Johnston’s comedic time and considerable musical skill in bringing this quirky romantic character to life.   This dark comedy is perfectly timed to coincide with Halloween in 2019, and NLT’s second annual Frank n’ Stein fundraiser.

Cabaret Seating

Performance Dates

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7:30PM Preview (PWYC)
Friday, October 18, 2019, 7:30PM Opening 
Saturday, October 19, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Sunday, October 20, 2019, 2:00PM Matinee (Preshow Director’s Circle Event 1:15PM)
Sunday, October 20, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 7:30PM Performance (NLT 2 for 1 Ticket at the door) 
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:30PM Performance (Post Show NLT Guest Speaker Salon)
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 7:30PM Performance (Post Show Actor Talk Back)
Friday, October 25, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Saturday, October 26, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 2:00PM Matinee 
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 7:30PM Performance (NLT 2 for 1 Ticket at the door) 
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Thursday, October 31, 2019, 7:30PM Performance 
Friday, November 1, 2019, 7:30PM Performance
Saturday, November 2, 2019, 7:30PM Closing

Season subscriptions are still available starting at $50 - $80 for all three shows in the NLT season.

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Single tickets will go on-sale by September 1st


CAST & COMPANY

Joanna Weinberg - Playwright

Joanna Weinberg

Composer, book — writer and lyricist of contemporary musicals , singer songwriter and Cabaret artist. Joanna was born in London, raised in South Africa and has lived in Sydney Australia for the last 20 years. She comes from a family of classical musicians, has a drama degree from the University of Cape Town and has years of experience creating and performing theatre, music , cabaret and musical theatre. Her work has been performed in the U.K., Australia, Canada, South Africa and her film Goddess, starring Laura Michelle Kelly, had a  worldwide release in 2012. Joanna has created 5 albums of original songs, two of which are original cast albums of her musicals.

Joanna’s most recent work, Pandora’s Bag was recently seen as part of the Sydney Hayes Theatre cabaret season in 2016. The album of Pandora’s Bag was released on March 19 2017.

Her show, Pandora’s Bag, is essentially a feminist love song. It doesn’t take long to realise that Weinberg not only cares about other women, she actively thinks about and campaigns for their rights. ”
– Emma Castle, Sydney Scoop

She is also the composer and writer of Lifeforce , the mother of all journeys, which won the Pick of the Fringe at the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival, directed by Lisa Freshwater.

I found it altogether tender, moving and funny. The scores were particularly catchy and had a certain Off Broadway feeling about them. Weinberg and cast definitely have a winning formula on their hands with this enterprising production. ”
— Sydney Arts Guide

Joanna is the co-writer and songwriter of the Australian musical film Goddess, 2013 , the music of which earned her a nomination for an Australian critics circle award , she is also the composer and writer of the musical Every Single Saturday which toured NSW.

This may be one of the first Australian musicals I’ve actually enjoyed ”
— Australian Stage

Joanna has written and performed ten one woman cabaret shows including the critically acclaimed Baroness Bianka’s Bloodsongs which played in September 2014 at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney and returned in 2015, directed by Lisa Freshwater of the Theatre Division.

“ Four Stars, superb ”
— John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“ The authenticity of Weinberg's performance is both disarmingly disturbing and hilarious..... vocal range is startlingly impressive...Lisa Freshwater has directed this innovative piece with unfaultable aplomb.
— Milly Ellen, The Music, 2014

She has released five albums of original songs, one of which is an original cast album. The Piano Diaries, 2012, received critical acclaim in the US.

“ Weinberg tells a story in song without it being stagy or cabaret, crafting something else entirely. A set that grabs you by the ear right out of the box. Weinberg is quite a find and is must hearing for anyone looking for something meaty and different without being arty for the sake of being arty. Firmly in that sweet spot that bubbles right under blatantly commercial, the blood is flowing and the performance is certainly winning. Hot stuff well worth checking out.
— Chris Spector, Midwest Record Volume 35/Number 81

Joanna’s latest work, The Secret Singer, a musical play, opens in November 2017 in Sydney.

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