Moments before the applause began, one woman’s voice split the silence, “Wow.”
Onstage at the Flagpole Radio Café on February 5, vocalist Bethany Yarrow and cellist Rufus Cappadocia cast the spell of music.
“Bethany and Rufus were on fire,” said Flagpole Radio Café Executive Producer Martin Blanco, who welcomed their performance “on such a cold night.”
Regarding their performance and the Radio Café Orchestra, he said, “All the music was outstanding and I was happy that 250 came out to see the show in spite of the horrible weather.” Throughout the day and evening, a cold rain fell.
Ms Yarrow described her own captivation with music, talking about growing up with father Peter Yarrow, of Peter Paul and Mary. “Music is like a train. You think you’re shaping it, but it is shaping you,” she shared.
The duo began the evening with a traditional song, “Sail Away Ladies,” that likely has origins as a children’s game. She envisioned children, “especially girls,” joining hands to dance in a circle. “And they would let go, and sail across the yard.”
Ms Yarrow also spoke of influences including African American, hillbilly, mountain music, and an “incredible” mix “making American music what it is.” But she had realized, “I never knew anything about native American music … the indigenous people of this land are not recognized.”
She mentioned one native American and friend who “carries a huge legacy and tradition.” She described the native American prayers for the earth, water, air, and land. She described their squalor, as if the native people’s persecution never ended. Her friend told her, “’You know Bethany, it’s time you sang [native] songs.”
She said, “I am going to sing a prayer … an old Lakota song.”
In her bare feet with black curls shimmering, Ms Yarrow’s long sequence of sounds carried the sadness she had described.
Minutes earlier The Flagpole Radio Orchestra of Jim Allyn, Rick Brodsky, Howie Bujese, Dick Neal, Francine Wheeler, and Rob Bonaccorso had moved through folk, rock and bluegrass sounds. They reached back to 1971, bringing to their audience a piercing rendition of “Wild Horses,” by the Rolling Stones.
The Flagpole Shakespeare Repertory Theatre — Martin Blanco, Barbara Gaines, Kate Katcher, John Morogiello, David Antwerp, and David Wheeler — entertained with skits reflecting the news and current events, and the season.