This is a world premiere play about “Beethoven: the Man, the Myth, the Music” that will be staged on Long Island this summer. It was co-founded with Debi Toni, who is a multi-faceted entertainer (singer-songwriter, performer, teacher and musical director). For this groundbreaking theater, one could only expect to find in London, Vienna or New York City. “I was a professional belly dancer, and I danced in centers. I did a lot of Middle Eastern dance, and all throughout my life, I was a playwright, which is not the most lucrative field,” she said. “Beethoven was one of the plays that was so unique since I did not know anything about him. I like classical music, but I wasn’t very knowledgeable about it.”
On the 1994 film Immortal Beloved, she said, “It was basically a mystery about who was Beethoven’s immortal beloved. As I was watching the movie, it was really interesting and fascinating, but I kept hearing a voice telling me that all the facts were tampered with and inaccurate. This was back in 1995 and I wasn’t computer literate at that point. I read as many book as I could. It was pretty fascinating reading about him and his music. For four years I researched, and used a word processor at the time, and with the accidental click of a button, I deleted four years worth of research in one click. I screamed for an hour, and then, just when I was about to give up on the project, I wrote down everything that I remembered. That is where I came up with a form after writing for eight hours, and I suddenly had a play, and it emerged. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do since it was totally out of my wheelhouse.”
Sansone-Braff continued, “When people see the play, you really get to know the heart and soul of him. I placed it in a 24 hour period. Debi Toni is fabulous and I’ve known her for years. This is a scaled-down production due to cost, but ultimately, I’m trying to get people to see it.”
Most impressive about Sansone-Braff is that she channeled Beethoven himself, in an effort to create this theatrical masterpiece.
The shows will take place on August 5 at 8 p.m., as well as on August 6 at 7 p.m. Ironically enough, both of these dates have a major historical significance in the life of Beethoven. “Debi did not know this. She had not read the play, nor knew anything about it,” Sansone-Braff said. “I chose two dates, August 5 and 6, and I didn’t think about that for two weeks. The play is set on August 5 in 1826, and when I realized that, that blew my mind.”
To learn more about this upcoming Beethoven production, check out its official Indiegogo page.