On Stage: Veteran performers to perform this weekend

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Walter Salas-Humara

Three veteran musicians – each with more than 40-year careers in the New York music scene – will be performing in the area this weekend.

Walter Salas-Humara will be performing a solo acoustic show on April 12 at Stone Garden Estate (4097 Wren Road, Thomasville, 717-870-9568) and then will be playing a concert with his band The Silos on April 13 at WaR3house 3, 100 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com).

James Mastro, whose career dates back to mid-1980s with The Bongos, will open with an acoustic set and then play as a member of Alejandro Escoveda’s band in a show at the Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) on April 12.

Michael Gira and his band SWANS will be playing a show at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com) on April 13.

Salas-Humara is to the Silos what Trent Reznor is to Nine Inch Nails or David Thomas is to Pere Ubu — musicians who carry the band name and bands with revolving lineups. The current edition of the Silos features Konrad Meissner on drums, Rod Hohl on guitar, Caitlyn Oliver-Gans on bass and Bruce Martin on keyboards and bass and supporting vocals and Salas-Humara doing lead vocals and lead guitar.

The Silos were voted the Best New American Band in the Rolling Stone Critics Poll of 1987.

The world of popular music in America also has its share of trends — New Wave synth-pop, world-beat fusion, etc. — but it also has its staples such as the Blasters, Los Lobos and the Silos — bands that are always there to fill the listener’s need for reliable, no-frills, down-to-earth rock tunes.

Salas-Humara put the Silos together in the mid-1980s after fronting the Vulgar Boatmen for a few years. He has been the lone continuing thread in the Silos over the band’s long career.

Salas-Humara, who began his musical career as a drummer, has played an amazing array of venues in the Philadelphia area, including the Chestnut Cabaret, Tin Angel, The Point, Revival, Bishop’s Collar, J.C. Dobbs, Ambler Cabaret, World Café Live, North Star, Pontiac, 23 East Cabaret, Khyber Pass.

This weekend, he will add two new venues to the list.

“I’m doing an acoustic set Friday at a listening room in Lancaster,” said Salas-Humara, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. “Then, I’ll have a show with the band on Saturday in Swarthmore.

“I’ve been playing a lot of gigs. And I’ve been doing a lot of paintings. I’m a partner in an art gallery in New York. I’ve also been doing a bunch of writing.

“Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the Silos’ first album so I’ll have some kind of record release for that – but I’m not planning a big tour. I have some shows planned for Europe – Austria, Germany, Switzerland.

“I do have a lot of stuff that has been recorded. So, I’ll definitely put something out next year.”

The Silos’ debut album was “About Her Steps” in 1985. The band’s most recent LP is “Family,” which was their 18th, was released in 2022.

According to Salas-Humara, “The Silos have morphed time and time again, expanding and expanding, not only the territory we cover, but the membership in our little community. The band is a ‘Family’ to me, hence the title of the new album. There are members all over the United States and in parts of Europe. This album was recorded in the Northeast, the Midwest, Texas and Germany, with members from all those regions dropping in on each other’s tracks via our modern technology.”

Salas-Humara made it work.

“Last year, I tried to get everybody I knew around the world,” said Salas-Humara. “I couldn’t go all the places, but I went everywhere I could – Chicago, Minnesota, Texas and even Germany.

“I’m still writing. I have a lot of brand-new stuff. I also have a lot of stuff I’ve written over the last few years that I’ve been saving for different reasons.

“My last album before ‘Family’ was ‘Florizona,’ which was released in 2011. After that, I was trying to retire and just focus on being a painter. I did that for about five years and then started making music again.”

Salas-Humara has the Silos on the road again. Fortunately, there will be two shows in this area.

“These venues are new for me,” said Salas-Humara. “My booking agent Katrina lives in Philadelphia so she picked these venues. Friday is solo and then the shows Saturday in Swarthmore and Sunday in Metuchen, New Jersey will be with the band.”

Video link for the Silos – https://youtu.be/Xzbp_v3Hc6c.

The show on April 12 at Stone Garden Estate will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $25.

The show on April 13 at WaR3house 3 will start at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25.

James Mastro

Like Salas-Humara, Mastro’s musical weekend will start with a solo acoustic set and then have a band show later on the same stage with Alejandro Escovedo.

“Alejandro and I have known each other for a long time – more so when I was working with Ian Hunter,” said Mastro, during a phone interview Wednesday from a tour stop in Homer, New York.

“This particular tour is running for five weeks but we’re going to be running for the rest of the year, including opening for Jason Isbell in the fall.”

Co-incidentally, Salas-Humara recorded two records with fellow songwriters Michael Hall and Alejandro Escovedo under the name the Setters in the mid-1990s.
Mastro is touring in support of his new album, “Dawn of a New Error,” which is his first solo album.

Mastro, a Hoboken-based rock/Americana singer-songwriter-guitarist (formerly of The Bongos, Richard Lloyd Band, and the Health & Happiness Show) is set to release the album on February 21. The album marks Mastro’s return as a frontman, singer and songwriter.

Featuring guest vocals by Ian Hunter and produced by Tony Shanahan – Patti Smith’s bassist, co-producer and musical collaborator – the songs were recorded whenever Mastro and Shanahan found time to get together between other projects. It is a timely album that toes the line between twangy Americana and Art Rock.

“This is my first solo album,” said Mastro. “With the Health & Happiness Show, I was the songwriter, but it was a democracy. Also, when writing for a band, you always have that in mind.”

Mastro has toured the world dozens of times over as a supportive musician with some of the biggest and most critically acclaimed rock and pop artists ever to grace a stage including Patti Smith, Ian Hunter, Judy Collins, John Cale, The Jayhawks, Alejandro Escovedo, Garland Jeffreys, Jesse Malin, and with Robert Plant as his musical director for a benefit concert for an artist they both admired immensely, Love’s Arthur Lee.

“Dawn of a New Error” finds Mastro firmly in frontman territory, unleashing 11 brand-new, fiery cuts that will make even the most jaded music listener sit up and listen. What makes Mastro all the more impressive – band cred aside – is his arsenal of sounds. Textural and otherworldly one minute and retro-rock the next, each track on his MPress debut is a master class in crafting timeless hooks, intelligent lyrics, and kick-ass playing that any fan of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, or Wilco will embrace.

Produced by Tony Shanahan (Patti Smith’s bassist, co-producer and musical collaborator) at Hobo Sound, the album was recorded and mixed by Grammy nominee James Frazee (Patti Smith, Sharon Van Etten, Marshall Crenshaw), and mastered by the legendary Greg Calbi.

Mastro wrote and sang all the songs, along with playing all guitars and mandolin. Shanahan played bass, keyboards, and sang backing vocals.  Noteworthy drummers are on the record include the late Louie Appel (Southside Johnny), Brian Griffin (Brandi Carlile, Black Crowes), Steve Goulding (The Mekons, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe), and Bill Dubrow (Yoko Ono, Linda Thompson).

“Dawn of a New Error” was a long time in the making.

“This album started probably 10 years ago,” said Mastro. “I never had the intention of making an album. My friend Tony Shanahan had just opened a studio in Weehawken and he wanted to test it. I wrote a song in 2010 and we did it there.

“I was very busy with touring and Tony was very busy too. He’d call me a day or two before and say come on over. So, I’d have to write a song or finish one. No-one heard those songs until now.

“During COVID, I looked at the songs and realized I had an album. I didn’t seriously think about an album until COVID. I had 11 songs, and all are on the album. I was surprised at how cohesive the album was. I never realized it but there is definitely a lyrical thread going through – and a musical thread.

“‘My God’ was the first song we recorded. It set the tone for the record – but not consciously. I had never written a song like that before. I wasn’t sure if it was too preachy, too childlike or if it was going to piss people off. I sent Patti Smith the lyrics and asked if I was on the right track and she said yes.”

Video link for James Mastro – https://youtu.be/zmNbzZri3yE.

The show at the Sellersville Theater on April 12 will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $29.50 and $55.

Other upcoming shows at the venue are Leo Kottke on April 13 and Ruen Brothers with Ric Robertson on April 14.

In the animal world, swans do not go into hibernation for over a decade and then emerge for a whole new round of living. Such is not the case in the world of rock music. After 13 years in a cocoon, Swans emerged and came back to life healthier than anyone could imagine.

Michael Gira put his band Swans to bed in 1997 and moved on to different musical projects – mainly forming the band Angels of Light and running his own Young God Records label.

There was another short gap a few years back but now Swans are back kicking ass in their own unique way.

SWANS released their 16th studio album, “The Beggar,” on June 23, 2023. It was released by Mute and Young God Records. The announcement of the album coincided with the release of its lead single, “Paradise Is Mine,” as well as the announcement of a world tour.

SWANS world tour brings the band to Philly on April 13 for a show at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, 215-232-2100, www.utphilly.com) on April 13.

“The Beggar” was preceded and funded by the acoustic demo album “Is There Really a Mind?” The demo album consisted of acoustic renditions of many of the album’s then-unfinished tracks, primarily recorded by Gira alone at his home studio.

According to Gira, “We did live recordings to fund the studio album. We made handmade CDs of live recordings or new songs.”

“The Beggar” continues SWANS uncompromising take on music.

Here’s what Michael Gira has to say about it: “After numerous pandemic-induced cancellations of tours for the previous SWANS album leaving meaning, and an apparent bottomless pit of waiting, waiting, waiting, and the strange disorientation that came with this sudden but interminable forced isolation I decided it was time to write songs for a new SWANS album and forget about everything else.

“They came relatively easily, always informed by the suspicion that these could be my last. When I finally was able to travel, songs in hand, to Berlin to work with my friends recording this record, the feeling was akin to the moment in The Wizard of Oz when the film changes from Black and White to Color. Now I’m feeling quite optimistic. My favorite color is pink. I hope you enjoy the album!”

“The Beggar” was released on double vinyl in a brown chipboard sleeve with a download card for accessing an additional 44 minutes of music (also included on the album’s CD version), as a double-CD in a brown chipboard digi-pack, as well as digitally.

“The Beggar” was recorded and mixed at Candy Bomber Studio, Berlin, engineered by Ingo Krauss and mastered by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose, Berlin. The album was written and produced by Gira and features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light, as well as Guest Swan Ben Frost.

Not surprisingly, Gira’s new work is loud, brutal – lyrically and musically – and not fodder for casual listeners. And Gira has made a point to stress that this is another part of the evolution of SWANS and, unlike what is put forth by a lot of old rock bands, not just another regrouping of artists to cash in on a name.

Gira said, “From 2010-2018, we had a very set group lineup that lasted a long time. Then, I decided it was time to have a revolving door.”

The touring line-up of SWANS comprises:

Michael Gira – Vocals, words, acoustic guitar, production. Gira started Swans in NYC in 1982 and has been the primary songwriter, singer and producer throughout the years. During the Swans hiatus (1999 – 2010), he released several albums by and toured with a group called Angels of Light. Gira recently published a book of his short stories, journals, and words for music, called The Knot. He lives in New Mexico.

Kristof Hahn – Lap steel, various guitars, vocals. Kristof first joined Swans in 1989 and was a principal contributor to Angels of Light, and a core Swans member 2010 – 2017. Kristof’s other musical ventures have included the Rock ‘n’ Roll Noir band Les Hommes Sauvages and Kool Kings (with Alex Chilton). When not making music Kristof translates books. He lives in Berlin, Germany.

Larry Mullins – Drums, vibes, orchestral percussion, Mellotron, various keyboards, backing vocals. Larry is a trained symphonic percussionist. He played through the ‘90s with Iggy Pop and later with The Stooges. He played with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a main contributor to Angels of Light. His current main job is playing drums with The Bad Seeds. Larry lives in Berlin, Germany.

Dana Schechter – Bass guitar, lap steel, keyboards, vocals, piano. Dana played bass in and was a core member of Angels of Light. She subsequently released music and toured as Bee and Flower. Her current band is the power-duo, Insect Ark. Dana is an animator and designer in the film industry and currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

Christopher Pravdica – Bass guitar, sounds, keyboards, vocals. Chris played bass as a core Swans member in 2010 – 2017. Chris has played with the bands, The Gunga Din, Flux Information Sciences, Xiu Xiu, Yonatan Gat’s Medicine Singers and has a project of his own called We Owe. Chris is a sound designer and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Phil Puleo – Drums, percussion, vocals, piano, exotic wind instruments. Phil played drums with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a core member in Swans 2010 – 2017 and contributed to Angels of Light. Phil’s early NYC musical venture was Cop Shoot Cop and has since played with Human Impact, among others. Phil is an extremely talented illustrator and lives in Chicago, IL.

Gira compared the live show to the recorded product – “The music (on stage) doesn’t resemble the record. We don’t try to replicate the record. It’s a starting point.”

Video link for SWANS – https://youtu.be/YqGQh6264L8.

The show at Union Transfer on April 13 will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $32 and $38.

The Keswick Theater will have a great twin bill on April 12 with Judith Hill opening for JJ Grey & Mofro.

Hill has a very impressive music CV.

She is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, who has provided backing vocals for such artists as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Josh Groban. In 2009, Hill was chosen as Jackson’s duet partner for the song “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” during his “This Is It” rehearsals. After Jackson’s death in 2009, she, along with the rest of the “This Is It” cast members, performed at Jackson’s memorial service and attracted global attention when she sang the lead on the song “Heal the World.”

Hill’s rise to fame is recounted in “20 Feet from Stardom,” a documentary film that tells the untold story of the backup singers behind some of the “greatest musical legends of the 21st century.” She is also a featured artist on the film’s soundtrack. She won the Grammy Award for Best Music Film for her performance in this film.

A number of Hill’s original ballads, including “Desperation,” were featured in the 2012 Spike Lee film “Red Hook Summer.” In March 2013, Hill became a contestant during the fourth season of The Voice. Hill opened for Josh Groban during the third leg of his All That Echoes World Tour (North America) in Fall 2013. She also performed two duets with him in his set for “The Prayer” and “Remember When It Rained” (which was released as a single). She also toured with John Legend on the UK leg of his “#AllOfMe” tour in fall 2014.

Now, Hill is touring in support of her fifth album, “Letters From A Black Widow,” which is set for release later this month via Regime Music Group. The 12-track record presents a riveting story from private pain to communal transcendence – her most soul-bearing work to date. The announcement comes with the release of her new single and lyric video for “Flame” out now.

“I’ve been touring for close to a month now,” said Hill, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from a tour stop in New York. “The album comes out April 26.

“We’ll be touring throughout the rest of the year. We joined JJ Grey with some of the things we’ve been doing.”

Hill and her family band will tour extensively in support of the new music. Her North American tour kicked off on January 27 in Sanibel, Florida at Big Arts Sanibel and includes 19 spring dates supporting JJ Grey & Mofro.

“Ii started recording the new album  a couple years ago – in 2021,” said Hill. “The songs were all written in 2021. I started in my home studio. I brought in the musicians and we did the tracking. I didn’t really write a bunch of songs. I just wrote these songs because they work together.”

One of the standout tracks is “Flame,” which showcases powerful vocal and incendiary musical arrangements from Hill. Lyrically, the new song stares down darkness and pain with a telling revelation about her inner reserves: Give me chaos and give me pain/but you can never kill my flame.

According to Hill, “I am more resilient than I thought I was. After every blow that knocks me to the ground, I discover an inner power that emerges stronger and more defiant than before. Like iron and steel, my core has become impenetrable. On my darkest days, I plug into the amp and hear the throbbing pulse of the guitar like a surge of energy reviving my spirit. I am convinced that I will never be defeated.

“One of the best ones is ‘Black Widow,’ which was written first – coming out of a sense of triumph. It deals with aspects – shame then triumph.”

“Letters From A Black Widow” follows Hill’s 2021 release, “Baby, I’m Hollywood!,” which garnered widespread critical acclaim and was described by SPIN as “a funk-rock-soul scorcher.” If that album offered a rowdy coming-of-age tale of a mixed-race child of bohemian California, “Letters from a Black Widow” is a formidable battle cry – an album-length soul/funk/gospel passion play that’s spectacularly written, arranged, and performed by Hill.

While Hill played many of the instruments – including electric guitar, which she taught herself to play since her last studio release – this project is not a strictly solo endeavor. It’s built on the unshakable musical foundation she has enjoyed for most of her life: Hill’s band includes her parents, bassist Robert “Peewee” Hill and keyboardist Michiko Hill. She’s also joined by John Staten (drums and percussion), Daniel Chae (strings) and a group of friends, who contribute background vocals.

“I’ve been on the road for most of this year,” said Hill. “I haven’t started to write again yet. But I’m ready to start writing again soon.

“I have five more shows left with JJ – one week. It’s my first time playing with him. We got booked together because we have the same management. Later, my band and I are doing a European tour. It will be a mix of festivals and club shows.

“We are able to play all the songs from the new album live. The set list varies from night to night.”

Video link for Judith Hill — https://youtu.be/4gjuJuBWEzg.

Renowned singer, songwriter and artist JJ Grey is celebrating the release of his highly anticipated new Alligator Records album, “Olustee” – his first self-produced album and his first release in nine years.

The North Florida-born and bred Grey sings his personal stories with universal themes of redemption, rebirth, hard luck, and inner peace. With his music, Grey also celebrates good times with lifelong friends, oftentimes mixing the carnal with the cerebral in the very same song. Fueled by his vividly detailed, timeless originals spun from his own life and experiences in the Northern Florida swampland, Grey’s gritty baritone drips with honest passion and testifies with a preacher’s foot-pounding fervor.

“For me, songwriting ain’t easy – because I’m lazy,” said Grey, during an interview in 2005. “If I was diligent about it, it would probably be easy. When it rains it pours. Sometimes, I’ll write 10 new songs all at once. Other times, it will be nothing for months.

“I think music is a byproduct of life – not the other way around. I want my songs to be real and to deal with real life the way we live it here. I don’t want to forget about what I almost forgot. The things my grandfather knew and taught me can stand the test of time.”

On “Olustee,” Grey has found songs that can stand the test of time.

According to Grey, “The best songs I’ve ever written, I never wrote. They wrote themselves. The best show I ever played, played itself and had little to do with me or talent. To me, those things come from the power of an honest moment, and I guess I’m trying to live in that power and not force life to cough up what I want.”

With “Olustee,” Grey has once again pushed the boundaries of his own creative musical, lyrical and vocal talents, delivering an album that is destined to become a stone-cold classic. Many of the songs are steeped in the mythical Southern stories of his ancestral Florida home and filled with people from his life. The songs overflow with the sights and sounds of the region as told through the eyes of a poet and sung with pure, unvarnished soul.

Grey made his recording debut in 2001 with “Blackwater,” following up in 2004 with “Lochloosa.” Both albums were released on the Fog City label under the name Mofro, a moniker the young Grey chose to describe his music and sound while still working his day job at a lumberyard. He has since used the word to name his band of world-class players.

In 2007, Grey signed with Alligator Records and released a string of five popular and successful albums: 2007’s “Country Ghetto,” 2008’s “Orange Blossoms,” 2010’s “Georgia Warhorse,” 2011’s live CD/DVD “Brighter Days” and 2013’s “This River.” “Ol’ Glory” was released on the Provogue label in 2015.

Video link for JJ Grey — https://youtu.be/qNJEqf-CsLY.

The show at the Keswick Theater on April 12 will start at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices start at $39.50.

On April 17, World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, www.worldcafelive.com), singer, songwriter, and storyteller, Arielle Silver, will return to Pennsylvania for a concert at World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, www.worldcafelive.com). She will be playing selections from her latest LP, Watershed, and choice cuts from her discography.

“I was born on the Gulf of Mexico in Fort Myers, Florida and raised in the mid-Atlantic,” said Silver, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from her home in Burbank, Califiornia.

“I lived with my family in northwestern New Jersey. It was out in the country – a very nurturing place. Since then, I’ve lived in a lot of other places including Chestertown, Maryland and Lancaster. I live right in the heart of the city of Lancaster.”

Silver is performing shows in support of her new album, “Watershed.”

“I wrote the songs in 2021 during quarantine,” said Silver. “I did a lot of creative things in 2020 and 2021. At the start of 2021, I started talking to my producer Shane Alexander. I started to get it together in early 2022 and did pre-production for a couple months. I recorded the basic tracks in spring and summer that year. We cut it at Shane’s studio Buddahland. Later, I added background vocals and pedal steel. Jesse Siebenberg, who played lap steel and pedal steel, is amazing.”

Alexander used a core band of accomplished musicians – Darby Orr on bass and keyboards, Jesse Siebenberg on slide and steel guitars, Denny Weston Jr on drums and percussion, Rob Hodges on cello and Justine Bennett on backing vocals.

“In pre-production, we weeded the songs,” said Silver. “We recorded 10 songs and used all 10. In 2023, we finished mixing and mastering the album and then October 6 was the release date.”

Conceived in the quiet of the pandemic quarantine, “Watershed” takes its title from that watershed moment and the woodsy and watery places where the story-songs are set.

“Subconsciously, I was trying to home in on the essence of the time,” said Silver, who holds degrees in Psychology from Brandeis University; Clarinet and Songwriting from Berklee College of Music; and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, with a primary focus on Creative Nonfiction, and secondary foci in Fiction and Literary Translation.

“All the songs on the album were written during the pandemic.

“Also, ‘Watershed’ has stories behind watery places I have lived – Florida, Maryland, Walden Pond. A lot of them reference the place. I think about places a lot when I’m writing. A lot of my childhood homes were located near water.”

With accolades in numerous songwriting contests, including Second Place in the International Acoustic Music Awards, songs from “Watershed” have been heard on The Bluegrass Situation, Americana UK, and LA tastemaker station 88.5FM The SoCal Sound.

Not only is Silver an acclaimed singer-songwriter with a string of four previous albums under her belt – most recently 2020’s “A Thousand Tiny Touches,” she is also a Creative Writing Professor at Antioch University, the founder of Bhavana Flow Yoga Studio and she serves as the President of FAR-West (folk Alliance Region West) where she promotes the work of artists, songwriters, producers and more, across traditional, contemporary and multicultural folk music, dance, storytelling and performing arts.

“I was back east in November,” said Silver. “The album had just come out. It was a week after the album release show at Hotel Café in Hollywood.

“This time back east, I’m just doing solo shows. “I’m playing some tracks from ‘A Thousand Tiny Touches’ but I’m focusing mostly on the songs from ‘Watershed.’”

Video link for Arielle Silver – https://youtu.be/mDq-vqWiH4Q.

The show at World Café Live on April 12 will start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $20.

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” which is running now through April 21 at the Candlelight Theater (2208 Millers Road, Arden, Delaware, 302- 475-2313, www.candlelighttheatredelaware.org), is definitely a mystery.

The cast for the show includes many Candlelight veterans including Anthony Connell (Phillip Baz, Bazzard), Dan Healy (James Throttle), Julia Kershetsky (Alice Nutting, Edwin Drood), Sarah Mackus (Beatrice), Constance Clay Pelesh (Princess Puffer, Angela Prysock), Samantha Ricchiuti (Florence Gill), Shaun Yates (Nick Cricker) and Victoria Healy (Ensemble).

The Candlelight Theatre provided some information with this message on its website and handout flyers –

“THE MYSTERY of EDWIN DROOD, based on Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, is presented by a delightfully zany, vaudeville-type company at The Music Hall Royale.

“The story features John Jasper, a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster who is quite madly in love with the fair Miss Rosa Bud who is engaged to Jasper’s nephew, young Edwin Drood. Drood disappears after dinner on a stormy night and is thought to have been murdered. If so, then whodunnit?

“YOU, the audience, must decide and vote.

“Just how many possible endings can there be? The secret is in the number of combinations made possible by three separate sets of roles chosen by you, the audience. The total? 480!

“Which show will you see? You vote on the ending, so it’s entirely up to you!”

As “Drood” is metatheatrical, the characters of the play “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” are played by actors of the “Music Hall Royale,” within the production.

Metatheatre, and the closely related term metadrama, describes the aspects of a play that draw attention to its nature as drama or theatre, or to the circumstances of its performance. “Breaking the Fourth Wall” is an example of a metatheatrical device.

“It’s a murder mystery,” said Connell. “It’s a fun show with great audience participation. The audience votes on who they think murdered Edwin Drood.”

There are all sorts of clues throughout the play concerning who the murderer might be. Audience members take notes and play a role in the play’s final stages.

“Audiences like it,” said Connell. “It’s something different – something interactive. Audiences always live murder mysteries. Personally, I like when actors can go into the audience.”

The Candlelight Theatre is presenting “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” now through April 21. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings (doors 6 p.m./show, 8 p.m.) and Sunday afternoons (doors, 1 p.m./show, 3 p.m.). Tickets, which include dinner and show, are $63 for adults and $33 for children (ages 4-12).

Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center (226 North High Street, West Chester, www.uptownwestchester.org) is presenting The Ultimate Doors on April 13 and Susan Werner on April 14.

This week, the Elkton Music Hall (107 North Street, Elkton, Maryland, www.elktonmusichall.com) will host Chris Smither on April 12 and LaMP on April 13.

Jamey’s House of Music (32 South Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne, 215-477-9985,www.jameyshouseofmusic.com) will present The Porkroll Project and Roberto Morbioli on April 12 and The Dale Melton Trio on April 13.

Jamey’s features either “Jazz at Jamey’s” or “Anything Goes” on Thursdays featuring the Dave Reiter Trio and occasional guest musicians.

“Jazz at Jamey’s” will be presented every second and fourth Thursday, and “Anything Goes” every first, third and fifth Thursday.

Every Sunday, Jamey’s presents “SUNDAY BLUES BRUNCH & JAM” featuring the Philly Blues Kings. On the second Sunday each month, the featured act is the Girke-Davis Project which features club owner Jamey Reilly, Roger Girke, Glenn Bickel, Fred Berman and Colgan-Davis.

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