Preview: "Cleveland Play House, Orchestra partnership blossoms with 'The Good Peaches'"

Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell, seen here at Severance Hall, will preside over the performances of works by Britten and John Adams featured in "The Good Peaches," a new play by Quiara Alegria Hudes. (Roger Mastroianni)

Cleveland Orchestra associate conductor Brett Mitchell, seen here at Severance Hall, will preside over the performances of works by Britten and John Adams featured in "The Good Peaches," a new play by Quiara Alegria Hudes. (Roger Mastroianni)

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) has published a preview of the upcoming collaboration between Cleveland Play House and The Cleveland Orchestra: the world premiere of The Good Peaches by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes.

Two seminal works of music help achieve that [epic quality]: Britten's "Four Sea Interludes" (from his opera "Peter Grimes") and "Shaker Loops," by John Adams. Both will be performed by the orchestra onstage under associate conductor Brett Mitchell.

Selected, Hudes said, for their power to "express something the words cannot," the two scores unfold separately, one movement at a time, after each scene. Britten conjures the storm. Adams calms it. Only near the end, Mitchell said, do music and speech overlap.

"All of a sudden [late in 'Shaker Loops']," Mitchell said, "the characters start speaking again, and the impact of hearing it all fully married like that, at the end of the production, is to take us out of the mythical world and very much into the present day."

The idea, though, isn't just for Britten and Adams to provide nonverbal commentary. As much as their music reflects on the drama, so does the drama reflect on their music.

Hudes said one of her goals with the back-and-forth layout is to juxtapose what she called the "primal" nature of theater and the sophistication of classical music and the orchestra....

Mitchell, for his part, is confident "Good Peaches" will succeed, here and abroad.

Not only, he said, is this production is "truly world-class" and "worthy of the centennial." The play alone is "a special thing for the world of art in general."

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