hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

October 18, 2012

Popular musician's play combines culture, tunes of the 1940s

By Bruce Amaro Correspondent
The Haverhill Gazette

---- — It was Oct. 20, 1947 — two years after World War II ended.

Hemingway had taken back Paris. Patton died in a car accident in Germany. The occupation of Japan kept the U.S. Armed Forces busy in the Pacific Theatre.

In Manhattan, Eddie Stellerman celebrated the end of the war with the beginning of something people couldn’t wait for: Loud, sizzling, jazz and blues, sung and played from the guts up.

That is how Paul Prue wants “The Eddie Stellerman Show,’’ his new play, to debut Oct. 20 at Archie’s Little River Ale House, 27 Lafayette Square.

The show will focus on post-war New York City jazz and music, with performers dressed in period clothing playing music from that era by Benny Goodman, Glen Miller and others.

“It’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind,” Prue said. “I’ve always liked music from that era. I heard stories about what it was like in New York then, before and during the second world war. So I wanted to bring it all together as something that happened as the guys came home and the country settled down.”

Prue is best known in the Merrimack Valley for his two talents — one as a blues musician and the other his business in custom stain-glass restoration. He wrote the one-hour play.

Prue is well known in Haverhill for his musical performances. He has jammed with other musicians and singers in all corners of the city — in Bradford Common, at downtown concerts, in lounges and even at high school class reunions. His musical play will feature appearances by several other well-known Haverhill area musicians.

Diners will hear local musicians and singers — including Elle Gallo, Rick Campbell, Michael Casati, April Anamisis, Hoban Sanford, John Schiavoni and Peter Chase — all introduced by Prue, who will play Eddie Stellerman.

Prue didn’t want to say much about the show before it opens, but his email invitation describes the musical as a “play that takes place in a lower Manhattan jazz club called Eddie’s.” Prue describes the opening scene as the announcer, Eddie Stellerman, walks to the mic: “The house lights go down, and ....”

“The Eddie Stellerman Show’’ is a dinner show. Meals will be served is at 5 p.m. The show will start at 6 p.m. Admission is free, as is parking next to the building.

“We have 70 sittings reserved in a room for 150,” said Tom Archambault, owner of the ale house, the building that once housed J.P. McBride’s.

Prue produced and directed the play with the following cast:

Peter Chase, who has played nationwide with The Waterfront Blues band. He is the front man and harp player for the renowned Still Breathin Band. He runs a blues jam every Tuesday night at Archie’s.

Rick Campbell, a master of the electric guitar, who has played in several bands over the years and is working on a new project — a new band with his daughter on bass, which will be playing soon.

Mike Cesati, a saxophonist well-known in New England, with a reputation as one of the best jazz players in the area.

Elle Gallo of Bradford, who sells out local music venues regularly in the Merrimack Valley and on the North Shore. She has opened for Travis Tritt, Blondie, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Gallo was named Best Female Vocalist in New England for 2011 by Limelight Magazine.

John Schiavoni, the lead vocalist for the Coupe Deville band, who helps run a blues jam every Tuesday night at the Roma restaurant in Bradford.

Hoban Sanford, the lead singer for many bands going back to the 1950s.

April Anamisis, the youngest member and currently a singer for All Rights Reserved, known for her strong voice and stage presence.