Dr. Paul Diollio – 45 – Causcasian
Sally Jones – mid 20’s to mid 40’s – any race
A 2005 Philadelphia production under the title SEVEN MEN FROM NOW. A completely revamped 2013 production under its’ present title.
Jerry Perna wrote and stars in White Pines Productions’ THE MUSIC YOU REMEMBER – Review by Debra Miller
When burned-out middle-aged Professor Paul Diollio (Jerry Perna) learns via cell phone messages that he has been denied tenure, his car has been repossessed, and his girlfriend can’t take anymore of him or his Beach Boys’ obsession, the bad news launches an emotional meltdown that forces him to examine his long-held tastes and attitudes within the context of his final class lecture on “Sound Judgement: Theories & Speculation on Popular Music.” Perna’s THE MUSIC YOU REMEMBER, in its world premiere with White Pines Productions, is a poignant personal reflection on the songs and images that mark the key episodes in our lives and inform our personalities, and on the dangers of living in the roseate glow of the past, through media-based memories that are not always as perfect, accurate, or relevant in today’s world as we would like to believe.
The 90-minute show mixes live performance with smart references to philosophy, psychology, literature, and history, and an arresting array of audio-visual icons of Pop culture (sound design by Larry Fowler; video design by Michael Long), presented by the professor through vintage record albums on an obsolete turntable and old photos on an antiquated slide projector. He relishes the safety and familiarity of the formative years of his youth, so remains stuck in the pre-digital, pre-feminist period of low tech, male dominance, and women who wait for their wandering men, as expressed in the lyrics of his favorite songs.
Kristen Bailey as the ’60s sex object and Jerry Perna as Professor Paul Diollio in White Pines’ THE MUSIC YOU REMEMBER
Sensitively directed by Benjamin Lloyd, Perna creates a touching study of ‘manopause’ as we follow his sad demeanor and expressive face through Diollio’s mid-life crisis, with its stages of regret, depression, psychotic break from reality, growing self-awareness, and tearful realization that “sentimentality is not popular these days.” Kristen Bailey, as the professor’s “teaching assistant” and personifications of the voices in his head–of every woman who has impacted his life and assumptions–taunts his addiction to the past, encourages him to have fun, and cajoles the “retro moron” into accepting the present. She is particularly humorous as the archetypes of the ’60s sex object and towering witch, in hilarious costumes by Meredith Boring. October 1-20, 2013, whitepinesproductions.org
The Music You Remember, is a multi-media mid-life spectacle of an obsessive man, forced to examine the assumptions which have guided his life-assumptions born for the most part out of the music and culture of the 1960s. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of dwelling in the past…lest you wind up alone with your record collection!
The story finds music professor Dr. Paul Diolio having been denied university tenure, replaced by a much-younger woman. As he teaches his final class-“Sound Judgments: Theories and Speculations on Popular Music, Addendum to Follow, 101”-he is joined by a mysterious young teaching assistant named Sally, who leads him on a kaleidoscopic journey of memory and regret, as Sally is revealed to be much more than she seems.
More about MUSIC:
Thinking of 1960s music, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Hendrix and Joplin, immediately spring to mind. THE MUSIC YOU REMEMBER celebrates a more romantic sound: Glen Campbell, Dionne Warwick, The Rascals, The Beach Boys PET SOUNDS album, as well as, the Burt Bacharach & Hal David songbook. This is music to some extent destroyed by modern irony; music in which falling in love forever and making promises was actually something that could happen to you, without a sneer or a snarky comment. Music Professor Dr. Paul Diollio is a man who came into his adulthood guided by this music, and he has paid the price.
Approximately 80 minutes with no interval
Preview available here