Fun With Food, Towey Style
By Bonnie Goldberg
If fruits and vegetables and all foods healthy had a policewoman or super spokesperson in charge, Dre Towey would be it. With humor, clever lyrics and adorable visuals, she could probably persuade even the most artery hardened carnivore to abandon pork ribs and filets of beef. Her song “You Are What You Eat” uses all kinds of food, mostly healthy, leafy gems like asparagus and crunchy carrots, to spell out Dre’s good-for-you message. One does notice the occasional candy corn kernels and chocolate chips, licorice and lollipops, as her song happily sings along. The CD features Claymation letters and pictures created with the help of Ellery Lamm, a neighbor’s imaginative daughter.
A mom of three, plus caretaker of assorted fish, cats and several dogs, Dre Towey has been strumming a guitar and creating ingenious lyrics since 1998. Called positively a “Mom of Reinvention,” she has racked up five albums, or CDs and a pair of holiday singles, becoming a finalist in The John Lennon Songwriting Awards and receiving a trio of Parents’ Choice Awards along the merry way.
Dubbing herself originally a Jersey girl, she always loved music and describes herself as a “kindie rocker,” a genre of songs specially for kids. Explaining that “I’m just a kid at heart, going where my songs take me,” Dre came into the music world in a back door kind of way. “I was teaching in the city and observed a co-worker entertaining her kindergarten class singing and playing guitar. I just loved it and thought it was cool. I knew I wanted to do it too.”
Jumping right in to her new career, she collaborated with a fellow teacher on a CD entitled “The Ants Wear Underpants.” Already proficient as a writer and illustrator, she moved into the new artistic areas with ease. When she became pregnant with her first child, she was able to indulge her passion and start writing songs and accompanying them on guitar on topics from mashed potatoes to meatballs, mushrooms to monkeys.
Photo: Dre Towey
The Year's Best -- One Critic's Opinion
Carson Higgins (center) and the cast of Memphis
By Tom Holehan
A wrap-up of Connecticut’s theatre year 2015 would not be complete without a look back on the highlights from some of the state’s professional regional theatres.
Goodspeed Musicals: The East Haddam mainstay stumbled recently with an ill-advised holiday production of “A Wonderful Life”, but director Rob Ruggiero was, again, seen to excellent advantage with his production of “La Cage Aux Folles” last July. Rarely has the Jerry Herman/Harvey Fierstein crowd-pleaser been so, well, crowd-pleasing! Kudos to Ruggiero who is quickly getting a reputation as the state’s go-to director for breathing new life into Broadway war horses.
Hartford Stage: The theatre made lots of noise recently with its world premiere of “Rear Window” featuring Kevin Bacon in what I found to be a rather bloated production. For my money, director Darko Tresnjak’s high-energy revival of “Kiss Me Kate” last June was of far greater interest. I also was in the minority for enjoying the theatre’s stylish rendering of the Noel Coward classic, “Private Lives”, in January with Mr. Tresnjak bringing his patented enthusiasm to every project he undertakes.
Articles of Interest:
Three New Musicals in Development Get Goodspeed Readings
Seminars, Celebrities, Previews, Cabarets and More at the Goodspeed Festival
Blogs and Websites of Interest
Blogs about Connecticut theater, movie reviews, and the arts.
Joe's Views -- Joe Meyers' Blog
Artes Magazine -- fine art, architecture, design and theater
Back Stage Buzz - current and archived interviews with CT artists
susangranger.com -- movie reviews
CT Arts Connection
WMNR Fine Arts Radio (Rosalind Friedman's Review)
www.courant.com/curtain (Frank Rizzo reviews)
www.reflectionsinthelight (Lauren Yarger reviews)
www.nytheaterscene.com (Irene Backalenick/David Rosenberg reviews)
Stu On Broadway -- Reviws and comments
Two on the Aisle -- NYC and Connecticut Theater News and Reviews