Music heals and renews the soul. On June 1, the new musical “Sexy Widows” will have its début performance at the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. The production was written and composed by La Crescenta resident June August. Musical director Sean Paxton also lives in La Crescenta and the production features cast members from the Glendale Music Theater.
“Sexy Widows” centers on two widows and two widowers who bond and recover together through therapy. It’s a musical journey through the road to mental recovery that uses both comedy and drama to bring hope to its audience while also giving them a lot of laughs. The story follows its characters as they venture back out into the world again, learning that they alone have the strength and ability to make their lives meaningful.
The production is over five years in the making and has its roots all the way back to 2006. It is the product of August and her business partner and friend Sonny Fox. The two women both lost their husbands that year and met at a support group sponsored by the H.O.P.E. Foundation. It gave them something to look forward to and the opportunity to meet others going through the same thing.
August is a lyricist and writer and Fox is a realtor with a background in poetry. As their friendship grew, Fox had many times suggested that they collaborate together on a book of inspirational poetry for recovering widows. The time just wasn’t right, however, and months passed where grief stifled creativity. Finally, towards the end of 2007, August said, “I’m ready to listen.” They sat down for lunch and hammered out their ideas, eventually settling on the idea of a musical.
“The right time is the time left,” said August, summing up an important theme of the production.
The show deals immediately with the loss of a spouse but is meant to give hope and shed light on the recovery process for many different types of loss.
“[People] don’t know what to do with the rest of their lives,” August said. The process of recovery is “a slow realization of personal understanding;” – a realization of autonomy and inner strength.
In 1991, August co-authored a book on music appreciation with her husband that is now being printed in its fifth edition. She has also done music for children’s theater, never considering doing something for adults.
“I heard music in my head,” she explained. Her husband helped her become more technically proficient in her composing. “Don’t be silly, just let your fingers wander,” she remembered him saying.
“Sexy Widows” premiers Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. It is the first of a six-performance run. More information about the production, including how and where to buy tickets, can be found at http://www.twowidowsproductions.com/SexyWidows.