Welcome to the final production of American Blues Theater’s Season 33 “Home Sweet Home”. We proudly present James Valcq and Fred Alley’s The Spitfire Grill – a musical, based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff.

We’re thrilled to reteam longtime collaborators Tammy Mader and Malcolm Ruhl on this project. Malcolm has been involved with American Blues from before our rebirth in 2009.  His recent work at Blues includes award-winning musicals Hank Williams: Lost Highway (music direction), Little Shop of Horrors (musician), and Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (music consultant).

After many male-driven musicals, we wanted to showcase strong female characters and voices, particularly in today’s state of declining women’s rights and equity. In addition, these gorgeous songs and rich folk music offer a needed respite from the 24-hour news cycle, constant alerts, alarms, and notifications. For a short while, you’ll receive a break from the fast-paced world as you enter this small town.  The Spitfire Grill cooks up a recipe of judgment, forgiveness, and redemption. The dessert is a warm helping of self-reflection.  What is your moral code? How do you begin anew?  Where do you go to rejuvenate?

Our heroine Percy Talbott claims, while looking into the lush Wisconsin scenery, “…the only woods I ever saw was in magazines and picture books. But this is better than any picture.”  Humankind has always communed with nature though the frequency is waning. In Japanese culture, there is a therapy shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”.  What was once considered commonplace – a walk amongst trees – has now become prescriptive to combat daily stress of the modern era.  The proverbial sniff of the roses no longer cuts it. 

Sometime before the summer cools and the sun sets, treat yourself to a little self-care walk amongst the trees. Perhaps a few bars from this score will accompany your steps and lift your spirit.

– Gwendolyn Whiteside

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