“Hopefully it speaks to everyone who lives here,” says Lewis.
In addition to Lewis, the cast includes Andrew “Afrodite” Shoals, Mark Meehan, Joe MacDougall, Whitney Winfield, Sharon Topper, and Roxanne Layton, with special video appearances by Varla Jean Merman, Miss Richfield 1981, Dina Martina, and Ilona Royce-Smithkin. The hour-plus-long musical features 11 original songs connecting this story of dreaming about the life you have.
“It’s like Mama Mia; it’s a collection of songs that I wrote [before] with a few new ones,” says Lewis. “This whole musical is about slowing down, thus Snail Road. But the funny thing is my life has gotten much, much faster with rehearsals!”
Loving life and living your dreams is at the core of the musical, in a story line that despite the imagery, is not as close to the story of a girl from Kansas as one might think.
“It isn’t and it was never in my mind,” says Lewis with a self-conscious laugh, about the references to the Wizard of Oz. “As it turns out, especially seeing we put ruby red combat boots on the poster, it is a tip of the hat to the Wizard of Oz. Look, there are only 15 stories. I picked the one about dreams because it’s all about Provincetown.”
This uniquely Provincetown tale, produced by Counter Productions and Extraordinary Talent Productions, is getting a Broadway treatment from director Donna Drake. An original Broadway cast member of A Chorus Line, Drake’s directing resume is richly varied, including Broadway productions of Nothing Like a Dame and Romance in the Dark as well as more fringe fare, like Are You There God, It’s Me, Ann-Margaret and BOOBS! The Musical.
Lewis is a beloved musical fixture in Provincetown. Originally from the tiny English village of Rottingdean, she has wandered the globe picking up musical influences along the way. Like an ivy vine, she still travels near and far, but with her roots planted in Provincetown. A favorite on the folk music circuit, Lewis was the winner of the Colorado Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Troubadour Award in 2003, New Folk Winner 2002 at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, and 2001 Falconridge Folk Festival “Audience Favorite.” Lewis’ song “Small is Tremendous” might be familiar from ads for Mini Pringles and TJ Maxx.
She’s also written the soundtrack for a new documentary on the Vagina Monologues as well as the score for the mocumentary Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads.
The premiere of Lewis’ musical coincides with the release of her new album Rotary Phone. Recorded this past winter in the East Village, some of the songs from the musical are tracks on the album, which also includes guest work by Natalia Zukerman and Erin McKeown.
With dreams being so important to both the musical and life in Provincetown in general, Lewis is dedicating the show to the late Ellie, a beloved town icon and street performer who died this past April. Ellie’s sign, which said “Dreams R 2 B Realized!” will be on stage during the performance.
“You could go on and on about Ellie,” says Lewis. “You could make a long list of people who, like Ellie came to Provincetown over the years to realize their dreams. This show celebrates them.”
As Gertrude Golightly searches for her dreams, challenges and temptations might sway her, but without giving the end away, does it have a happy ending? Does she find her Provincetown destiny? Or do her dreams get dashed on the shoals like a shipwreck in days of old?
“What do you think?” quips Lewis. “There’s enough trouble in this world. How could it not have a happy ending when following your dreams. It’s all about a little joy.”
“Snail Road” will be performed at Art House, 214 Commercial St., Thursday-Sunday, June 2-5 and June 9-12 at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $18 and VIP (for the first six rows) are $24, available by calling 508.487.9222 or by visiting www.ptownarthouse.com.