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The New Works Musical Ensemble presents highlights from Didi Stewart's original pop/rock musical "Our Own Heroes," directed by Lydia Harrell and Rene Pfister, with band arrangements by Berklee faculty member Jeri Sykes.
A comedy with serious undertones, the musical had its genesis during COVID-19 lockdown. One of the first 1,000 people in Massachusetts to contract COVID, Stewart began writing about her experience as a kind of therapy. But given the harrowing political conflict overtaking America, the show evolved into a satirical commentary on the dangerous divisions tearing our country apart.
"Our Own Heroes" follows the fever dreams of Abbey, a discouraged activist infected with COVID, and her battle against a mysterious narrator who has seized control of her life story. Set in the cramped confines of our heroine's apartment, the action travels to multiple locations thanks to the series of Zoom virtual backgrounds Abbey gets sucked into. Along with the characters who haunt her dreams—a COVID ward nurse, a homeless teen, an ambitious TV reporter, and a MAGA type with a tragic past—she wanders a virtual landscape poking fun at everything from right-wing elitists to left-wing hypocrites. Given the task of changing her friends, Abbey will find that the greatest challenge of all lies in changing herself.