Winthrop resident, musician and producer, Ralph Tufo, knows what it’s like to adapt to the new norm. Accordion and piano player for the Squeezebox Stompers, Tufo has recently expanded his musical resume with a production that takes viewers on a journey through the Brickyard in Lynn, where he grew up.
The project was initially supposed to be a live performance, but COVID had other plans. Tufo teamed up with producer/director Samantha Bestvina and Squeezebox Stompers guitarist Larry Plitt to write the script, lyrics and music, producing an intense depiction of life in Lynn.
The performance, titled “Beyond the Blues Zoom Production,” is accessible via YouTube and showcases 17 different musical scenes performed by individuals in a story format. Like most things in today’s word, the project required major technical labor.
“Ralph and I started working on Beyond the Blues back in February this year,” said Samantha Bestvina, Producer/Director. “First, we had plans for a live stage viewing which then turned into a stage reading which ultimately ended in our virtual production of the show. I’d had never worked with Adobe Premiere before, nor had I ever created “scenes” for a film. It was a tedious process, but a wonderful learning experience. I was fortunate to have actors that adjusted quickly, came ready to create/play, and put in the effort to make our show a reality, despite all the changes we faced over the past 6 months.”
The accounts in the video stem from Tufo’s real-life experiences with the addition of blues music that enhances each of the performer’s storylines.
“A lot of blues songs seem to have a story behind them, so I thought that if a story could happen in a gritty urban blues bar, then why not Lynn,” said Tufo. “These are stories about real people who have overcome obstacles.”
Tufo and his team hope to perform the show live in 2021.
To access the video, search for “Beyond the Blues Zoom Production” in YouTube.
In addition to Tufo and Bestvina, the show stars: Dominic/Tom Hennessey: Greg Hovanesian Albie Tomlin: Nate Haywood Mary Hennessey: Amanda Hurley Jack Weber: Kyle W. Porter Shakira Murray: Sarah Jackson Tony Tagliamonte: Kevin Groppe Recorded Music: Larry Plitt Logo Design: Karla Murphy
If you’re interested in contributing to help defray the expenses involved with creating this production and also help with fundraising for a 2021 in-theater production of the play (when the pandemic is finally over), you can donate at:
www.paypal.com under the account name: [email protected]
Donations by check can be made out to:
3 Seal Harbor Rd.
Winthrop, MA 02152