The 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa dedicates its Studio Theatre to a variety of unusual, experimental or lesser-known plays.
But “Great War Chronicle,” opening in the Studio this Friday, Aug. 19, is a departure even for 6th Street.
First of all, it’s a modern musical about World War I.
Second, the story is told entirely in songs.
And third, it is the first play written by Glenn Siegel of Sebastopol. Siegel has written hundreds of songs, and produced CDs, but never has written a whole show before.
“I wrote it in a six-week period at the end of 2008,” Siegel said. “It was a work of spontaneous creation. I’ve never had an experience like that before.
But why set his love story — with music that ranges from rock to blues to ballads — in World War I?
“World War I is a war that people really don’t know so much about. It’s kind of a mystery, and I’ve found that’s a compelling quality,” Siegel said.
Two decades ago, Siegel founded the Santa Rosa-based company Wine Spectrum, which sells wine directly to enthusiasts and collectors all over the country. Five years ago, the company also opened a Wine Spectrum shop in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square.
But Siegel has never given up his music. His dream of seeing “Great War Chronicle” produced onstage comes true this month, with longtime local theater leader Michael Fontaine directing. Siegel even will play in the show’s live band.
“Great War Chronicle” will be performed at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 28 in the Studio at 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa.
Admission: $20. Information: 523-4185, 6thstreetplayhouse.com.