None But The Best returns to Boston May 5 and 6

About five years ago, In Good Company commissioned me to write a play with music about 19th century Boston philanthropist, Daniel Sharp Ford. The resulting play, None but the Best, had a nice run in Boston and the suburbs in November 2013. Jeff Mosser directed that version, and Kay Dunlap compiled the music and served as Music Director. Last year, In Good Company approached me about doing a return visit to None but the Best–this time I worked with composer/director Daniel P. Ryan, as we reshaped the script and Daniel wrote a bunch of new songs.

Now the new and improved version (which is significantly shorter and clearer) will play May 5 and 6th at First Parish Church, in Waltham. It’s a fun piece with some terrific new and historic music.

Here’s the summary:

Turmoil and strife followed the U.S. Civil War: news of reconstruction, industrialization, the Gilded Age, labor struggles, and women’s suffrage monopolized newspaper headlines. Through it all, a family paper born in Boston, The Youth’s Companion, was a welcome touchstone in half a million homes across the nation. Featuring the voices of poets and presidents, reports on science and tales of travel,The Youth’s Companion not only promoted patriotism and temperance but educated and enlightened its readers about events, people, and places both near and far.

From the security of his home and office, reclusive publisher Daniel Sharp Ford quietly used his wealth to help thousands of disadvantaged people. None but the Best turns back the pages of time to reveal a man whose generosity has left its mark across Boston, New England and the nation.

I hope you’ll come check it out.