BETSY! The Concert combines jazz, oldtime mountain, and Latin music and vocals to tell the story of a night club performer uncovering secrets of her maternal family's history and twin Spanish-Caribbean/Scots-Irish-Appalachian roots. Her dilemma stirs up the ghosts of six generations of American women, and musical currents spanning four continents.
Performed by an inter-cultural cast, BETSY! grapples with a surprising, many-layered story which links an orphaned teenager tricked into leaving Ireland in the 18th century, her seducer, and their descendants, all the way down to Betsy, a sassy heroine finding her bearings in the rhythmic pulse of 21st century America.
BETSY! The Concert, a collaboration with Pregones Theater of New York City, was written by Roadside's Ron Short and Dudley Cocke and Rosalba Rolon of Pregones. Music was composed by Ron Short, Beegie Adair of Nashville, and Pregones' Desmar Guevara. The concert premiered at Appalshop's Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival, on August 11, 2017.