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William Bickley - The Puppet

Wm Bickley

The Puppet: A Musical Comedy

July 8th 2016 | 8pm

Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center

7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127

[Off Main Street in Manayunk]

For Information & Tickets Call: 267-481-3155

 

William "Brother Wali" Bickley is a world class flautist, composer, poet and playwright. Born in Philadelphia, Bickley’s love for the arts, Jazz and all genres of music, allows him to bring together music and theater in a most unique way. This multi-disciplinary artist facilitates ‘The Arts Group’ started for the purpose of exploring the therapeutic effect of the arts and the coupling of music and the stage, to enhance both dialogue and music. Bickley’s band Inner Journey formed in Atlanta in 2004 and again in Spain, where he lived from 2008 to 2013 has served as his sound laboratory. Today, Inner Journey consists of four talented musicians, bassist Bert Harris, pianist John Guest, drummer Franklin Neblett and Adam Hershberger on trumpet.

 

Wali Bickley 1In February of 2016, William "Brother Wali" Bickley and his band, Inner Journey shared an astounding performance in the Mysterious Traveler Concert Series; a collaboration between the Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Jazz Project. Today, Bickley and company are preparing for an encore presentation of his music theater production, The Puppet at The Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center in Manayunk.

 

PJP recently spoke with Philadelphia-area, flautist, composer, poet and playwright, William "Brother Wali" Bickley about his work and the upcoming project, The Puppet.

 

PJP: Tell us about The Puppet


William Bickley: The Puppet is a comedy about a.....puppet. The protagonist of the play is the character, Led Easily and he is making history with his talk show television ratings. He has become by far the king of all television. The show is making millions. No matter what he say or do people seem transfixed. But, there is just one little problem. Led Easily, a puppet is starting to think he's real and of course, that creates all kinds of mayhem.


PJP: Can you briefly describe your direction as a playwright?


William Bickley: To tell you the truth, I really want to do a full fledged musical with music, singing and dance. Everything within me is guiding me in that direction.


Wali BickleyPJP: Can you briefly describe your direction as a songwriter and composer?


William Bickley: Music and the stage is what I'm feeling at this moment and I make an attempt at that with the stage play "The Puppet". In addition to writing the play I wrote the music and songs. It feels good doing it! I really dig it! But overall, my musical direction is to continue to explore and cultivate the music that comes to me from within. I do not know how to sit and compose a piece of music. I rely on the music coming through me. I try to feel the theme and allow the music to correspond from within. It is my wish to further explore and cultivate this concept.

 

PJP: What and whom are pivotal influences on your creative approach as a playwright & musician?


William Bickley: Strangely enough I don't have any influences when it come to play writing. All I know is that it's been a desire of mine to write a play or musical since I was a young teen. As far as the musical influences the first and last name that come to mind is John Coltrane.


PJP: Tell us about the music for the show and the people working with you.


William Bickley: The music from the play was written by myself along with two lyrical selections. Most of the music was written for the play but a few of the tunes were written when I lived in Atlanta. I am fortunate to have five wonderful musicians to makeup the Led Easily Orchestra. Elliot Levin a really solid and seasoned tenor sax and flute player. Adam Hershberger a very talented young trumpet player. Bert Harris good and study, probably one of the most working bass players in this town. John Guest on piano is one of the strong young lions in music and you probably won't meet a better person. Franklin Neblett on drums, is another young lion who will provide all the rhythmic excitement you will need.


PJP: What advice would you give to your audiences to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment of this project?

 

Wali Bickely 3

William Bickley: Always try to listen from within. Listen with your heart and soul and allow the material to connect.

 

PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why Jazz?

 

William Bickley: I have always loved Jazz. I can remember as a young boy around twelve or thirteen listening to Trane thinking ‘Wow! This sure sounds good!’ During that period there we're other influences as well, like Motown. But, I would always relate back to Jazz. To me, back then it was just so deep. Even if I did anything else, I would still do Jazz!

 

The Puppet: A Musical Comedy

July 8th 2016 | 8pm

Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center

7 Lock Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127

[Off Main Street in Manayunk]

For Information & Tickets Call: 267-481-3155

 

 

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Tags : WilliamBickley WaliBickley ThePuppet Theater Musical Comedy LedEasily MysteriousTraveler VeniceIslandPerformingArts&RecreationCenter Manayunk FreeLibraryofPhiladelphia MultidisciplinaryArtist BrotherWali JohnColtrane TheArtistGroup InnerJourney BertHarris JohnGuest FranklinNeblett AdamHershberger

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