“Suzie Surreal” is three, three, three concert concepts in one.
I have always liked Christmas music, and I love to hear the old, beautifully melodic classics existing side-by-side with the quirkier, more obscure Yuletide songs. So that was a no-brainer.
I’m also a fan of songs that teach a little bit of history or science ... It’s always impressive to me when a lyricist is able to take a slice of factual information and mold it and finesse it until it’s suddenly possessed of rhythm and rhyme. So a concert featuring “lesson” songs appealed to me as well.
And finally, there’s the innate appeal of the “Alice in Wonderland” story … Those tales of children’s journeys that suggest there’s a whole other universe existing just parallel to ours -- And all it would take to find it is to open a door we’ve never happened to see before, or to accidentally fall down a heretofore-unnoticed hole in the ground. The hallucinogenic imagery of stories like “Alice” informed a lot of the psychedelic music of the 1960s, so I always liked the idea of doing a “strange world” story scored with old pop hits from the “British Invason” era.
So those are the three disparate vectors that have brought us here, to “The Search for Suzie Surreal,” a curious little story that winds through an eclectic and occasionally eccentric, string of songs. While it might not be as downright surreal as the title implies, I hope you’ll agree that it is a tad unusual. Frankly, I’ve always wanted to attend a concert with a list of repertoire as odd as this one … My thanks to Trefor to being willing to assemble such a score, and to Mallory for helping to shape and guide the story that ties it all together, and to the performers for committing to it.