Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer, songwriter, actor and director known for his smart, witty and at times scathing songs through which he generated a strong following in Europe in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
The In Series opens its show “Jacques Brel: Songs From His World” Saturday, Nov. 4 (at 8 p.m. and runs through Nov. 19 at SOURCE Theatre (1835 14th St., N.W.).
The production offers an “opportunity for audiences to journey through the Blegian master’s inner world with interpretations of his various works.”
Songs such as “Ne me quitte pas,” “Amsterdam,” “Marike” and others will be performed in French with English supertitles. Byron Jones will portray Brel, who died in 1978, and front a cast of four singers. Details, prices and show times are online at inseries.org.
Director Steven Scott Mazzola was approached by In Series founders to create a show based on Brel.
“What we’ve come up with is something like a recital with movement,” Mazzola, a 46-year-old Massapequa, N.Y., native, says. “We have some stories, some moments, some characters but a plot is a bit murkier to lay out. With this music and these performances, you don’t mind.”
Mazzola, who works by day as a senior grant officer at AmeriCorps, came to Washington 21 years ago for a Kennedy Center internship. He and partner Jeffrey Akman live in Logan Circle. He enjoys classical guitar and playing bridge in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
My guidance counselor at Chaminade High School. So about two weeks.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
The Green Lantern
Describe your dream wedding.
The Inn at Little Washington with Michael Cunningham officiating and Trey Graham and Rick Hammerly as flower children.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Funding for the arts and humanities.
What historical outcome would you change?
Let me begin by recalling where I was Nov. 7, 2016.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Reaching for the same meatball appetizer as Oprah Winfrey. I won’t say who
On what do you insist?
I’m not that type A but kindness toward the less fortunate is usually
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I just retweeted Josh Barro’s (@jbarro) comparison of the Corker/Trump feud to the Real Housewives of NJ. #teamstaub
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
My life among the flats and platforms.
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Request science to focus its efforts on more worthwhile activities.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
The after-Christmas sale at Barneys.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Be patient. Be forthright and inclusive.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A frose from Commissary.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That all gay men know how to accessorize.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Paris is Burning”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
A ring from Harry Winston.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That usually when it gets better, it gets more expensive.
Good food, better people and great theater. Plus there’s street parking.