by Beki Pineda

RAISED ON RONSTADT – Written by GerRee Hinshaw; Directed by Dee Covington. Produced by Local Theatre Company (Presented at ETown Hall, 1535 Spruce St, Boulder) through November 6. Tickets available at 720-600-7082 or localtheatre.org.

After attending two very good juke box musicals this week celebrating the music of the Temptations and Buddy Holly, I was prepared for another concert-like evening with the music of Linda Ronstadt. But this evening was much much more. It was a family history story. It’s a coming-of-age story.  It’s a story about becoming visible.  And it’s a concert.

GerRee Hinshaw explores her Latina background as compared to Ms. Ronstadt’s and how Linda’s disregard for the cultural norms of her time inspired GerRee’s work as an actress and singer. Because of their non-Hispanic last names, it’s easy to overlook that a Hinshaw could be Hispanic on her mother’s side and a Ronstadt could be born in Tucson the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. That Linda’s album of Spanish language songs was not a gimmick; it was an homage to her family roots. GerRee’s story writing and telling abilities moved audience members to tears as individual bells were run in the hearts of those listening. Based on your own personal history, different parts of her story were bound to intersect with your experiences forming a connection.

GerRee was ably backed up by three musicians – Scott Martin, Joe Mazza, and Mari Meza-Bergos – playing piano, keyboard, guitar, percussion and lending their voices to the music as well. They made a well balanced quartet, trio, or duet as the music insisted or simply added musical depth to the concert aspects of the evening.

A simple somewhat living room-type setting made for a comfortable homey environment for the stories. The venue – ETown Hall – has excellent acoustic balance; the whole evening ran very smoothly from the Local people checking guests in at the door to the Come Together conversation after the show moderated by Co-Artistic Director Betty Hart.

It’s OK to go expecting a concert of Linda Ronstadt’s moving music. You won’t be disappointed. But you’ll be delighted by how much more the evening will leave you with.

A WOW factor of 8.5!!

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