THE KREUTZER SONATA by Eric Samuelsen receives its world premiere in a co-production with NOVA Chamber Music Series through November 9 featuring violinist Kathryn Eberle, pianist Jason Hardink and actor Robert Scott Smith, directed by Jerry Rapier. All performances are sold out but a wait list forms in the Rose Wagner Box Office one hour before show time on November 1, 2 and 9 (showtime 7pm) and November 8 (showtimes 4pm and 7pm). You must be in the box office, in person, to get on the wait list. So far, we’ve gotten people on the wait list into every performance! THE KREUTZER SONATA also plays the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York on November 4 at 9pm.
Music. Such a mysterious power.
Now, I have to be honest. I’m of an MTV generation and pop music was what defined my audio kaleidoscope. It started with my mother and her love of Elvis, Dolly, and The Carpenters. We even had an old school Wurlitzer Jukebox and we filled it with 45s and the 80’s (my insistence). A far cry from Beethoven, but it was my world and my experience. That being said, I’ve always felt that music opens a special gateway into human emotion. I’m not an expert on the science behind sound, but there is undeniable power in music. A vibration that cuts to the core. Music has undeniable power.
Listen as I listen.
About a year ago Jerry asked me if I would be interested in performing in this ‘as-yet-to-be-created’ show. Based on the concept alone, I was on board. How could I refuse? An actor rarely gets the opportunity to take the stage with virtuoso musicians. Something yet to be created. I’d read the original Tolstoy, but as for the Beethoven I waited for what can only be described as a private concert. In a large rehearsal space I heard it for the first time, this Sonata, this Kreutzer, played by Jason and Kathryn. I was gobsmacked. I was moved. I was inspired. I was terrified. I couldn’t wait to play with them. Next, came this stunningly haunted, honest, and powerful text by the incredible Eric Samuelsen. I had the words. Together we had THE KREUTZER SONATA.
Yet, for a moment. Yes, the music did transport me.
Every night while I’m on stage listening to the First Movement, I’m transported to that moment when I first heard the Beethoven. It’s consistent and it’s always present. Genuine tears. Neither sad nor joyous. It’s just my honest emotional response to the power of such close proximity I share with Jason and Kathryn. I am transported into their world and their interpretation of Beethoven. It’s hard to describe, but I feel it and I experience it. And in return I take them on a journey into my interpretation of Eric Samuelsen via Tolstoy. My music is in the words, the story, the character, the emotional journey, the accusations, the horrors, the betrayal, the assumptions, the madness, the truth, the ideal.
Robert Scott Smith has previously appeared in Plan-B’s BASH: LATTERDAY PLAYS and the Script-In-Hand readings of REYKJAVIK and MARRY CHRISTMAS. He is founder and Co-Artistic Director of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory, where his collaborations include LOST IN THE WOODS (with Salt Lake Men’s Choir), FEAST (with NOW-ID) and CLIMBING WITH TIGERS (upcoming with Red Fred Project and Salt Lake Acting Company). Other local acting credits include THE CRUCIBLE (PTC) and SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS, CHARM, GOOD PEOPLE, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN (SLAC).