Jamaica - Lost Treasures Collection musical on Lakewood's Side Door Stage February 19 & 20, 2016

February 19 & 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM & Sat. February 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM
Directed by Ron Daum.

Jamica at Lakewood Theatre Company, Feb 19 - 20, 2016The Lost Treasures Collection, a series of rarely performed musical gems presented in concert/cabaret version on Lakewood Theatre Company's Side Door stage, presents the second offering in its sixth season, the musical Jamaica.

Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase before and during the show.

The production, with stage direction by Ron Daum and musical direction by Bethe Noelle, will be performed for three performances on two dates only: Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:00 PM and one Saturday matinee, Feb. 20 at 2:00 PM.

The show is presented script-in-hand, with minimal staging. No sets, no props (free from the usual trappings of a fully staged production). This year's theme: PASSPORT TO ROMANCE. Our series sponsor for all three shows is Jaye W. Taylor, Rob Le Chevallier and Buckley Law P.C.


Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Book by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy

The Story: On a tropical island paradise off Jamaica's coast, a poor handsome fisherman, Koli (Joey Côté), loves the beautiful Savannah (Essie Canty Bertain). But Savannah spends her hours dreaming of living the high life in New York. When Joe Nashua (Seth Rue), a fast-talking New York businessman, arrives to take over the island with plans for big money and fast growth, she is swept up in his promises of fame and fortune. Into the mix enters the island's conjuror, Grandma Obeah (Josie Seid), who weaves her spell and in the swirl of magic, music and calypso, true love is discovered where least expected.

Others in the cast include Carmen Payne, Yohannes Murphy, Eric Asawaga, Matthew Freitas, and Kurleen Nowickas. Musicians include Beth Noelle on piano, Tyrene Bada on keyboard, and Christopher Johnedis on percussion.

Ticket prices are $20 for all seats. Contact the Lakewood Theatre Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or Click here to Purchase Single Tickets securely online.

Cast of Jamaica at Lakewood Theatre Company, Feb. 19-20, 2016 Lakewood Theatre Company's Side Door Stage is an intimate 90-seat cabaret-style venue with general admission seating in the Community Meeting Room at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego. Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages are available to purchase before and during the show. In 2013 Lakewood's Lost Treasure Collection series received a PAMTA "Outstanding Contribution to Theatre" award.

History of the Play:
Jamaica opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on October 31, 1957 and closed on April 11, 1959 after 558 performances. The musical was directed by Robert Lewis and produced by David Merrick, with choreography by Jack Cole, scenic Design by Oliver Smith, costume design by Miles White and lighting design by Jean Rosenthal. The cast included Ricardo Montalbán as Koli and Lena Horne as Savannah, with Ossie Davis as Cicero, Erik Rhodes as Governor, Adelaide Hall as Grandma Obeah, and Josephine Premice as Ginger. Alvin Ailey was the principal dancer.

Harold Arlen's music parodies the popular form of Calypso, which was in vogue in the 1950s, largely as a result of the popularity of Harry Belafonte, for whom the musical was originally written. Belafonte withdrew from the production due to illness, and the musical was then tailored around the talents of Lena Horne who starred in the role of Savannah.

“Push de Button” might be the best-known song from the score. Horne would sing it in her club act and on Broadway in The Lady and Her Music. The score also includes “Savannah,” “Pretty to Walk With,” “Incompatibility,” “Cocoanut Sweet,” “Little Biscuit,” “Pity de Sunset,” “Take It Slow, Joe,” “Monkey in the Mango Tree,” “Ain't It de Truth,” “Leave the Atom Alone,” “Yankee Dollar,” “I Don't Think I'll End It All Today,” “Napoleon,” “What Good Does It Do” and “For Every Fish.”

According to the original Playbill, the musical is set on Pigeon Island, “a mythical” island off Jamaica. Time, “the present.” The setting and time gave lyricist E.Y. Harburg, known for his delicious wordplay and liberal leanings, the chance to take swipes at such social ills as consumerism (“Yankee Dollar”), celebrity, power and leadership (“Napoleon”) and the nuclear age (“Leave de Atom Alone”). Putting these words in the mouths of Caribbean natives made the score an odd experience — part New York social satire, part sultry island romance.

Ticket Information

Lakewood's 90-seat Side Door Stage theatre is located in the Community Meeting Room at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street in Lake Oswego. Tickets are $20 and are available through the Lakewood Theatre Box Office at (503) 635-3901.

Light food fare, beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase before and during the show.

  Ron Daum - Lakewood Theatre Company

  Ron Daum, Curator/Director