Hey, Let’s Put On A Show!

It’s so crazy, it just might work . . .


In a tiny gym at a church, Boy and Girl are selling lemonade and cookies each night through July 17. It’s to help them put on their show, “The Little Death Volume 1,” the stage (and true) version of Matt Marks‘ excellent new CD by that same name. I’ve written about the music here, and now I’ve seen the show, and it’s even better.

It’s a musical, so it needs to be seen on stage. Short, concentrated and sung-through, only Marks and Mellissa Hughes are onstage, and they not only perform but set up and rearrange the sets as it goes along. The story is about sex, death and Jesus; young people in love with Jesus and each other, conflicted and sincere. The direction by Rafael Gallegos is really fine and adds a great deal to something that is already interesting, involving and satisfying. Just listening to the CD leaves some odd narrative gaps that the mind tries to fill in, and Gallegos has worked out a fascinating and effective sense of temporal narrative. The events that the songs portray, including the opening shooting, have an overall order, even with what is one big flashback (and of course young men have a tendency to try and kill what they can’t possess), and having things unfold through time, both forward and backward, brings out more of the complex nature of the characters, who, despite their generic names, are holding real internal contradictions together, and touching on them alternately and simultaneously. It’s one of the better and more relevant Off-Broadway musicals out there right now, not preachy at all and completely entertaining. And if you’re lucky, you may get to see their excellent new video, done by Satan’s Pearl Horses.

UPDATED: Now with cool pictureUPDATED AGAIN: Now with full and way cool video

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I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.