Posts Tagged ‘A Day For Grace’

Doug Vincent’s Play A Day for Grace Returns to Stage Left Studio September 19 thru 22 Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent Co-Star; Llanas to Open with Solo Acoustic Set

September 17, 2013
Doug Vincent (foreground) re-enacts his infamous run-in with his childhood nemesis while Sam Llanas (background) accompanies him with songs written in 1998 and 2011.  Photo by Gary Dineen courtesy Daystorm Music and Gary Tanin

Doug Vincent (foreground) re-enacts his infamous run-in with his childhood nemesis while Sam Llanas (background) accompanies him with songs written in 1998 and 2011. Photo by Gary Dineen courtesy Daystorm Music and Gary Tanin

New York, NY, August 19Doug Vincent’s autobiographical play, A Day For Grace will return to New York City on September 19th for a four-night engagement from September 19 thru 22  at Stage Left Studio, 214 W 30thStreet, 6th floor Roots rock legend Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) and playwright Doug Vincent share the stage in the heartwarming play of hope and triumph over adversity. Set to original music by Llanas, A Day for Grace recounts Vincent’s emotional roller-coaster journey into first-time fatherhood as he chases parental shadows and the demons of his turbulent youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child. Llanas will also open each show with an intimate solo acoustic set of old favorites, new and unreleased music. All performances are at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 212.838.2134.    

The play unfolds when unforeseen complications during his daughter’s birth propel Vincent’s emotions to pour out of him to confront the demons of his past – shifting back and forth between little league angst and the relationship with his alcoholic and suicidal father to present day events.

Lanas performs the soulful music from his 1998 solo album A Good Day to Die, which underscores Vincent’s 10 different character portrayals and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. Although he wrote the lyrics 15 years earlier and long before the play was created, nearly every song matches a scene from the play.

“It’s almost impossible to watch the show without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration. The unique interplay between the music and monologue is mesmerizing,” says director Gary Tanin.

Both Vincent and Llanas used their creative talents as a way to heal from the tragic loss of a family member to suicide.  At their first meeting, both men were shocked to learn how serendipitously the two art forms blended together to create the compelling musical drama.  A Day for Grace touches on many contemporary social issues –- bullying, alcoholism, dysfunctional families and mental illness — all leading risk factors for suicide, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 “We hope that our play will continue to not only entertain, but convey its message of hope, healing, and triumph over adversity to the widest audience possible,” says Vincent.

A Day for Grace had its initial limited engagement run in 2012, where it played to sold-out audiences.  The play was first introduced to New York audiences last year at Stage Left Studio, where it was developed.  This year, a re-tooled A Day for Grace, which began a multi-city national tour in August, will visit Berryville, VA, Denver, CO, Milwaukee, WI  and Chicago, IL before returning to New York City, where it will complete its tour at Stage Left Studio for multiple performances plus a producers’ showcase.

A co-production of Stage Left Studio and Boulder StoryHealers, ‘A Day for Grace’ was developed at Stage Left Studio in New York City. Boulder StoryHealers is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, a nonprofit charity under Section 501c3 .


AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I was slated to give this production personal coverage for the Friday and Saturday night shows during this run.  Unfortunately, the fates have conspired to keep me away from this production.  Faithful readers would wonder why I am interested in going to see this show again.  I have it on good authority that changes have been made to both the script and the music for this tour of the show.  Additionally, Llanas will do a solo acoustic set before the play begins.  That is always worth the price of admission!  So even for you folks who caught this last time, I urge you to go see it again.

This time, the topics of the show are even more poignant and personal to me.  I did just recently lose three family members and a pet, albeit none by suicide, but loss is loss.  All three family members lived at the same residence, which is the ultimate definition of an empty nest.  The pet, succumbed to hyperthyroidism in my hands this past Saturday the 14th.  I would be an emotional casualty if I were to attend this show.  Sometimes people like to cry at highly emotional art.  If you are this kind of person who rejuvenates themselves at the hand of highly personal artistic endeavors, this is again, a must-see show for you to cleanse your soul, refresh your spirit and laugh at life’s foibles.

Tell them Queeten sent you…


June 17, 2013
Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Boulder, CO, June 17 — Boulder StoryHealers has confirmed that A Day for Grace (ADFG), the social drama written and performed by Doug Vincent with music by rock icon Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) will kick-off its National Tour in August 2013 with stops in Berryville, VA, August 18; Denver, CO, August 29; Milwaukee, WI, September 5-8, and Chicago, IL, September 11-13, before its return to New York City’s Stage Left Studio, September 19-22. Tickets can be purchased through each venue’s website or at

Infused with humor, A Day for Grace is a heartwarming story of hope and triumph over adversity. The play recounts the emotional roller-coaster true journey of playwright Doug Vincent — a father-to-be — as he chases parental shadows from his tumultuous youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child.

Llanas shares the stage with Vincent, performing his soulful music that underscores the 10 different characters Vincent portrays and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. “It’s almost impossible to watch the play without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration,” says director Gary Tanin. “The unique mechanism of interplay between the songs and monologue is mesmerizing.”



April 17, 2013
One sweet version of the guitar developed by The Wizard Of Waukesha, Les Paul.

One sweet version of the guitar developed by The Wizard Of Waukesha, Les Paul.

This blog has been in the crosshairs so many times for having an unfair focus on any one particular subject at one time.  First it was too focused on Todd Rundgren, then it was too focused on Adrian Belew, then it was too focused on A Day For Grace, and now we return the focus to Sam Llanas.  In defense of the blog, it cannot be helped if these artists are constantly on my radar, and if this really bothers anyone that much, again, simply do not read this column!!!

If that is not a convincing enough argument for the position this blog takes as to what will and what will not be covered here, please scroll down to the “categories” section of this page.  One of the “categories” selected will be “Opinion/Editorial”.  For those who don’t know, this means I am free, as dictated by the codicils of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that guarantees me the right to free speech.  Many law enforcement agencies repeatedly attempt to quell the rights within the Constitution under the “Patriot Act”.

I defer to the founding fathers, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, et al.

This blog was born of a music review column.  We do all kinds of reviews, music, theater, television, and yes, societal events.

A founding father of modern music is a name you have to familiar with if you claim to know music anytime after the 50’s.  Les Paul.  If you have seen any musical act in just about any genre, from jazz to heavy metal, you have seen a Les Paul.  Jazz great Al DiMeola, plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson.  Progressive rock icon Robert Fripp not only plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson, but has developed a new standard tuning developed off of a drop C tuned to 7ths, and has begun to oversee manufacturing of his own line of “Crimson Guitars” loosely based off of the Gibson Les Paul.  Ace Freely of Kiss plays a Les Paul guitar by Gibson almost exclusively.  This list could go in indeterminately.

Modern music was able to grow and thrive, and the possibility for the multi-instrumentalist was made possible by Les Paul as he developed the (what we now know to be computer based) multi-track recording system, which allows musicians to record a track at a time and to layer instruments separately so that one man can play everything himself and play all the parts.  Paul used to do so with his wife, Mary Ford, who was herself a capable guitarist and vocalist.

Now, an old friend of BouleBlog has gotten his hands on some of Paul’s very own guitars for a very special video to his song “The Way Home” from the brilliant 2011 release 4a.m. (The Way Home).  The video for the song was filmed in association with the opening of the Wizard Of Waukesha museum opening in Wisconsin on none other than what would have been Paul’s 98th birthday, June 9th.

From a recent industry magazine, ProSound News:

To experience the video, check it out here:

Also, in case you missed Llanas’ recent appearance to promote not only the Museum and the Video, but also the current campaign to “Send Sammy To Broadway”.  “Send Sammy To Broadway” is a fund raising campaign which has actually (thanks to sports figures such as Matt Lepsis) met one of its primary goals and is speeding towards its next financial goal, all in the name of bringing a second run of the critically acclaimed play, A Day For Grace not only to cities where it was so well received, but new venues to assist in awareness of societal causes as anti-suicide, anti-bullying and sobriety awareness.  Llanas provides poignant musical interludes during …Grace with playwright Doug Vincent.  Check out Llanas’ Milwaukee appearance here:

In conclusion, we will continue to cover Sam Llanas, Gary Tanin, Doug Vincent and A Day For Grace as often as is necessary.  In light of recent events in Boston, human behavioral understanding is required perhaps even more so now than ever.  If A Day For Grace and the efforts of Llanas can make a difference in one life, then each and every letter in the continuing coverage of this blog will have been worth it!


April 5, 2013
A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent.  Vincent tackles topics of societal taboo usually not considered fodder for a play.  Photo by Matthew Staver

A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent. Vincent and musical contributor Sam Llanas are gearing up for a second run of A Day For Grace, read on about how you can bring this remarkably moving play to a city near you! Photo by Matthew Staver

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  We are eschewing our Friday Flashback schedule as we are pleased to be one of the few outlets that have the resources to bring you this advance notice of a campaign that launched this morning in Milwaukee, on NBC affiliate TMJ4’s The Morning Blend show.  The campaign is called “Send Sammy To Broadway” and it is slightly misleading because the campaign is not only sending singer/songwriter extraordinaire Sam Llanas to Broadway, but also playwright/actor/comedian Doug Vincent to Broadway to put his play, A Day For Grace in front of more eyes.  Why it belongs in front of more eyes follows…

Many people feel alone.  Some feel ostracized in a room crowded with people.  Often times, people suffering with depression feel nothing.  They may be loved, cared for, even needed by family members and friends.  But once that chemical imbalance claims the pleasure centers of the brain, no amount of love, caring and company can overcome it.

Unfortunately, and often times, there is an ugly force that DOES overcome this chemical imbalance:  The desire to contemplate or commit suicide.

While it is not often discussed, depression, addiction, and suicide touch many, many lives.  I hate to nick from Reefer Madness, but it could touch yours, or yours, OR YOURS!!!  It might surprise you to know that these issues have touched most of the principle players involved with A Day For Grace.  These issues have touched the author of what you are reading.  Directly.  I have dealt with addicted parents.  I have dealt with my own depression.  I have contemplated suicide myself.  Maybe now it will be more apparent as to WHY this project takes up frequent residence on BouleBlog.


The original review was one of the most trying events I have ever covered.  Half of me was trying to deal with the emotions that were being so expertly laid down on the stage, half of me was trying to communicate those emotions in a review.  Divide those halves into half was trying to make sure these emotions weren’t too much for my best thing to ever happen to me (whose Grandmother committed suicide by hanging) and then further divide the review half into trying not to bawl my eyes out at Sam Llanas’ acutely ironic, fourteen year old songs bringing that extra punch to the play.

Would Doug Vincent’s words be as emotive without Llanas’ music?  Fortunately, we don’t have to consider this.  The duo are bringing back this amazing, touching, revealing play to the stages again, but the ‘Send Sammy To Broadway’ campaign has loftier goals.

While the campaign title suggests that the goal is to land Llanas and A Day For Grace on Broadway, the ultimate goal is to find stages in as many major cities that will have it.  Granted, this is not a play for every town.  Smaller, rural communities may have a problem with some of the subject matter.  Less cosmopolitan areas may also have issue with some of the language.



March 10, 2013

Hit play signs Llanas for second play theatrical tour to Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); Llanas and Vincent bring the touching play "A Day For Grace" back to fortunate audiences in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City for another run.  Do not miss this most  poignant performance!  Photo by Matthew Staver

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); Llanas and Vincent bring the touching play “A Day For Grace” back to fortunate audiences in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City for another run. Do not miss this most poignant performance! Photo by Matthew Staver

Milwaukee – In a career move that belies his time opening for everyone from Bob Dylan to U2, former BoDeans rock legend Sam Llanas has joined the cast of the critically acclaimed drama Day for Grace.

The play, which weaves the true-life tale of playwright and lead actor Doug Vincent’s
tumultuous youth, features Llanas in live nightly performances of music from his 1998 album A Good Day To Die.

“Every issue addressed in the play – from bullying and mental illness to alcoholism and suicide – is
also addressed on Sam’s album” said Llanas’ manager Gary Tanin in a recent interview. “What’s
even more astonishing is that the playwright had never even heard of this album before writing
the play.”



December 12, 2012
Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of "A Day For Grace" featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of “A Day For Grace” featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Dr. Who, South Park, Robot Chicken, all mention it (among others).  But it’s not just a concept in fiction or animation…  It’s real!  What’s that?  Cloning.  Remember Dolly the sheep?  If there was ever someone who could benefit from cloning, it has to be Gary Tanin.  It is amazing to see this person’s body of work as it is, but when you get down to digging into this man’s history, you realize he surpasses the definition of multi-faceted.

Many of you may not have even heard of him, but I would bet the farm you’ve heard his work.  From national JC Penney ads to a Wisconsin based “Who’s Who” of musicians. However I know that won’t satiate you, you still want to know why I am dedicating this column space to someone you consider a virtual unknown.  Yeah, he’s so unknown, my best thing to ever happen to me studied telecommunications, and Gary Tanin was mentioned as part of the curriculum of study.

You don’t get to be part of a major East coast college curriculum by being a nothing.



October 25, 2012

While the video itself lacks technical quality, what you are about to witness is a one-of-a-kind, exclusive interview with the gripping two-man show co-star Doug Vincent.  The other co-star, none other than the extraordinary Sam Llanas!!!  Follow the technical advisements attached to the video, and more importantly pay attention to the discourse, the dialog, the message!  I want to thank Mr. Vincent for his kindness, patience and indulgence in our first ever video interview.

I can promise that as we go along the video quality will get better as, with your understand and encouragement, we would relish the chance to grow and expand our capabilities.

In the meanwhile I hope you will enjoy our first video interview with the incomparable Mr. Doug Vincent.

Special thanks to all who helped make this happen, Mr. Douglas Vincent, Mr. Samuel Llanas, Mr. Gary Tanin, Ms. Jessica Belf-Vincent, and any and all who I may have forgotten to list.  We have not forgotten about the Killing Joke MMXII review, but this was too exciting to let slide.


October 9, 2012

Sam Llanas and company dip into the dark side with A Good Day To Die. Photo courtesy Daystorm music

The first time this project came to my attention was through my discovery of Sam Llanas (oh here he goes again with Sam Llanas…).  Maybe if you gave Mr. Llanas a listen, you might go on about him too.  He’s good!  A consummate performer, an elegant songwriter, and perhaps the most passionate vocalist I have witnessed in my life.  As much as I am loathe to participate in revisionism, my exposure to his 4A.M. disc has motivated me to want to explore his past work with the BoDeans, a group he is no longer a part of.  Mind you, I will only participate in those albums to which Llanas was a contributor.

The project band consists of Jim Eannelli playing bass and guitars, Guy Hoffman on drums, and Llanas providing acoustic guitars and vocals.  Many of the tracks feature keyboards by Gary Tanin, most notably known as a producer/engineer/audio mastering of global renown.  But there are significant contributions by Thatcher Schmid (violin and mandolin), Paul Gmeinder (cellos), Tiffany Hood (backing vocals), Janet Planet (vocals), Nick Kitsos (percussion) and Reggie Bordeaux (percussion).

But the title of the album had me hook, line and sinker: A Good Day To Day.

Let’s die!



September 17, 2012

Brilliant balladeer Sam Llanas looks deep into the soul of the camera, and sings to the depth of the heart. Photo by Lynn Vala

The Rockwood Music Hall couldn’t possibly be a more intimate venue.  Having arrived early, once the beginning act of the show concludes, we are then entertained by Californian Jason Karaban (the venue was intimate enough that I saw his driver’s license, as well as returned Mr. Karaban’s capo to him after it slipped off the neck of his guitar and out of his hand).

We are also highly chuffed that we will be meeting Mr. Doug Vincent, author of “A Day For Grace” (which will be explored in more detail in a future review, yes, now that we are on our own, no more record store influence, we can review plays, musical instruments, pop culture, the future is wide open, so stay tuned!).  The confusing part for me was, will this be the Sam Llanas solo show, or will it be “A Day For Grace”.  I was confused until I saw the marquee at the Rockwood.  This was Mr. Llanas’ baby.


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