“I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight”

A Musical Memoir by Dean Solden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight” is a one-man, “musical memoir” written and performed by musician and composer, Dean Solden.  In it, he addresses the history-old existential dilemma of why bad things can happen to good people, and why sometimes good things happen, even when you make mistakes.  

 

“I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight” has two 50 minute Acts.   It is about the four important women in the life of Danny Shapiro -  the alter ego of Mr. Solden – his sister, mother, daughter, and wife.   Act One takes place on the New Jersey shore where Danny grew up as a child and teenager, and focuses on the special relationship between Danny’s sister, Judi, who became severely mentally handicapped at age one, and his heroic, tap dance-teaching, risk taking mother, Luci, who cared for her with unflinching devotion.

 

Act Two takes place in California and Michigan during Danny’s adult years, and parallels the drama of Act One, except this time Danny is the adult, as he and his wife Susan deal with another special relationship.  Act Two portrays their incredible adventure adopting a nine-year-old daughter, Tasha, from Siberia.

 

In “I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight””, Mr. Solden plows deep into his own psyche and pulls out twenty melodic songs, exciting jazz piano playing, memorable characters, belly laughing situations, and most of all, teaches us all that despite tremendous adversity in one’s life, when you love people and take them home with you, sometimes good things really can happen.

Review of

“I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight”

 

“I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight” is a one-man, “musical memoir” written and performed by musician and composer, Dean Solden.  In it, he addresses the history-old existential dilemma of why bad things can happen to good people, and why sometimes good things happen, even when you make mistakes.  

 

"I'm going to take you home Tonight" has two 50 minute Acts.   It is about the four important women in the life of Danny Shapiro -  the alter ego of Mr. Solden – his sister, mother, daughter, and wife.   Act One takes place on the New Jersey shore where Danny grew up as a child and teenager, and focuses on the special relationship between Danny’s sister, Judi, who became severely mentally handicapped at age one, and his heroic, tap dance-teaching, risk taking mother, Luci, who cared for her with unflinching devotion.  The title of the show comes from a scene in the hospital where Luci has to make the agonizing decision whether or not to institutionalize Judi, as the doctor's had suggested.  She instead decides to "take her home that night,” forming the musical’s namesake and its original song and theme, as well as forging an unknowing life path in Danny’s mind and soul.    

 

Act Two takes place in California and Michigan during Danny’s adult years, and parallels the drama of Act One except this time, Danny is the adult, as he and his wife Susan deal with another special relationship.  Act Two portrays their incredible adventure adopting a nine-year-old daughter, Tasha, from Siberia.  Solden/Shapiro takes the audience on a journey from poignant orphanage scenes to hilarious Russian bureaucratic issues, culminating in a dramatic courtroom scene where Shapiro, literally, in Disney fashion, “sings” to the Russian court in order to save the adoption, which he does.   Susan and Danny then, or course, "take Tasha home that night," as the court and spectator’s cheer wildly for the creation of a new family.

 

The play is narrated throughout by Danny, a down to earth, spunky kid/teen/adult from the New Jersey shore (“shaw”), accent, attitude and all, and full of existential questions.  First a tap dancer himself, and then a musician, his childhood “friend” is his piano – and the two of them are literally in the middle of the house, as well as in the middle of all the emotional and psychological turmoil of these traumatic and harrowing situations.  These two major life altering events ultimately help Danny come of age, finally answering the questions of meaning he has been struggling his whole life with, culminating in the climatic song and travel game “Twenty Questions”, as he is driving down the highway in his mini-van (after having a hippie van and nice sedan) with his wife and new daughter.

 

In “I’m Gonna Take You Home Tonight””, Mr. Solden plows deep into his own psyche and pulls out twenty beautiful and melodic songs, wonderful jazz piano playing, memorable characters, belly laughing situations, and most of all, teaches us all that despite tremendous adversity in one’s life, when you love people and take them home with you, sometimes good things really can happen.

deansolden@gmail.com

734-260-3600

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