The World Premiere of Diner with Sheryl Crow and Barry Levinson

by Chris Murray on December 10, 2014

diner musicalThe cast of Diner pointing to the neon Diner sign on the set at the closing curtain. Copyright © Carlotta Hester/Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

It’s not every day you get to attend the premiere of a theatrical musical event with the writer and composer. Last night Barry Levinson’s story of youth transitioning from the 1950s to the 1960s, Diner, was birthed as a musical production. Both Sheryl Crow, who composed the lyrics and music, and Barry Levinson were in the audience to enjoy the standing ovation the production received from a very appreciative audience.

It was great to meet Barry and Sheryl and to share in the excitement of the evening. Before the musical began I enjoyed a conversation with Levinson. He told me about his time in Washington while he was going to school at American University. I told him he wasn’t the only stand-up comedian/director who was working in the Shirlington area where the Signature Theatre is hosting the musical Diner, as John Waters is performing this month at the Birchmere with his Christmas stand-up show. Barry was well aware, of course, that Waters’ film Hairspray was made into a very successful musical production.

Sheryl Crow’s music and lyrics are an extraordinary body of work that suited the production perfectly. She seemed as happy and excited with the results as was the audience. The set was terrific as was the acting, and the choreography and direction by Kathleen Marshall.

I was fortunate to share all of this creative energy through the good graces of Pam Wertheimer from W Management, who manages Sheryl Crow. Govinda Gallery has enjoyed over a two-decade friendship with her uncle Alfred Wertheimer, whose photographs of Elvis Presley in 1956 are the best images ever made of a contemporary musical artist. Thank you, Pam… and thank you Barry and Sheryl.

barry levinsonGovinda Gallery director Chris Murray with Barry Levinson. Copyright © Carlotta Hester/Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

pam wertheimerAfter the premiere with Anthony Imperato, Pam Wertheimer, and Chris Murray. For Howard Stern fans, Anthony is Mariann From Brooklyn’s brother!! Copyright © Carlotta Hester/Govinda Gallery Archive. All Rights Reserved.

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