Steve Forbert

Encore Pub: Steve Forbert helps play out TheatreNOW

Wilmington bids farewell to its first and only dinner theatre, TheatreNOW, this month. The theater opened its doors in July 2012. Its final theatrical production, “Clue: The Musical,” premiered in July and was a hit with audiences and encore’s Gwenyfar Rohler alike. Folks can catch the show’s final curtain call August 23-24. TheatreNOW’s Super Saturday Fun Time Finale is also set for August 24 at 3 p.m. Joining them on the schedule for TheatreNOW’s final week is veteran folk singer-songwriter Steve Forbert, who takes the stage August 22 at 7 p.m. Forbert last played TheatreNOW in May 2018. “We had a great time!” he says of the show. “I’ll never forget the young married couple I met in the venue afterward who literally had tattoos of the lyrics to ‘Romeo’s Tune’” (off Forbert’s 1970 album, “Jackrabbit Slim”). He expects this show to be just as special: “I’m grateful to get a chance to play the place one more time before it closes.” Forbert’s extensive folk-Americana-pop rock catalog stretches back to 1978, and includes almost two-dozen studio albums and countless singles. When he first hit the scene in New York City, busking for change in the mid-’70s, critics thought Forbert to be the “new Dylan.” He tries to paint a complete picture of his career with every live show, Forbert says concertgoers can expect to hear the early hits he’s most known for, including “Alive on Arrival” (1978), “Jackrabbit Slim” (1979), “Little Stevie Orbit” (1980), “Streets of This Town” (1988), and “The American in Me” (1992). f a transgender teenager. “She said, ‘I just feel really bad about all the times I forced him to wear dresses and a ribbon in his hair.’ I was moved by that, so I imagined myself in the place of a transgender person living there and wrote the song.” “The Magic Tree” accompanies Forbert’s 2018 memoir, “Big City Cat: My Life in Folk-Rock.” Released to commemorate four decades in the music industry, the book is a revelatory look at Forbert’s life and family, as well as his time spent with music legends like Doc Pomus and John Simon. It also explores everything from his instrumental approach to what he’s learned about himself as an artist in more than 40 years. “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about flashy licks,” Forbert says. “You rarely hear a song with good lyrics that has terrible music. On the other hand, you’ll often hear a song with flashy music that has lame lyrics.” A prolific songwriter, Forbert says his goal is to make every song he writes one he can be proud of—even if it takes him a little longer than it used to. “As long as I can feel good about singing it for people,” he adds. In addition to writing new songs, Forbert says he’s been recording a collection of his favorite folk-rock songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The as-yet-untitled album, which includes covers of Elton John’s “Your Song” and Judy Collins’s “Someday Soon,” is slated for next March.
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