The New Show

On the eve of what I’m pretty sure will be shutting down this blog, I wanted to bring you the news from the front on our latest show.

It’s called “Air Guitar”, it’s a musical, and so far we’ve heard “This is one of the dumbest ideas for a musical that I’ve ever heard. And that’s coming from someone who hates the form of the “musical” to begin with” and “This is just…fucking…gay..” and also, “Al Bundy got AIDS from his dad”. Strangely, all from anonymous sources. So, we’ve got that going for us.

I have to tell you, I’ve got this weird feeling about this play. Last night we did a full read through of the script, and then a bunch of the cast went to Soho and sang through some of the score with the Gods Of Fire and it was breath taking.

The playwright, and worst blogger in history, Mac Rogers is incredibly gifted as a playwright, even his biggest detractors think so. But, for me and for people with my sensibility, his work is actually transcendent. And I use that word very specifically. Under his artistic inspiration, Gideon has been wriggling around inside genres and yanking the carpet out from under people constantly.

There are a hundred examples, but his play “Wine”, which was received pretty badly in some corners, is one of my favorite of his pieces. Two regular New York room-mates are surfing through their next day hangovers, and while they talk, they relive the night before’s debauchery. And slowly, it dawns on the audience that regular stupid drunk people behavior may have gone one tiny step too far, and maybe… wait, no… Definitely, there is a dead body in the bed room and these two people are going to prison for the rest of their lives.

That’s not in “Air Guitar” obviously, even Mac thinks that “Wine” was a bit too aggressive (I disagree). But Air Guitar begins with a man in crisis, except he doesn’t realize how much of a crisis he is in until he starts fixing it. There is an organic movement to the play that is thrilling to watch. A man slowly builds and fixes his life right up to the point where things might start working out for him, and then he musters up every ounce of energy he can to fuck it back up.

At the center of the play is a woman who has given up her life as a performer to be on the production end of the theater world, who is also pregnant and dealing with her juvenile fuck-up husband and his juvenile obnoxious best friend. So, you can see how Jordana fits in to all of this. It was lovely that, during the read through yesterday, the cast kept laughing and looking up at Jordana during particularly brilliant turns of phrase.

You take the subtle knife turning of Mac and marry it to my particular populist musical stylings and you let Jordana’s crossword genius brain figure out the lyrics, and you’ve got a hell of a show. Much better than not including Mac’s knife turning, which we’ve done in the past.

But, holy shit, you take that brew and give the back up music to a hardcore metal band… It’s like you take all of that and turn it into a winter storm at the beach that just keeps hitting the audience. In the studio last night with the Gods Of Fire, the cast members were supposed to just run the numbers, but as soon as the Fire started, they were yanking mics off the stands and running around the room and pogo-ing. It was amazing.

But maybe the best part was when the drummer said to the actor playing Drew, “Hey man, we’re all Drew. We’re all living this story.” The story of a guy hitting his thirties and half becoming a responsible man and half staying a rock and roll monster. In the final moments of the show, Drew’s wife calls him a dick… and I’m not sure why that’s so important to me. But it’s just fantastic.

Last night, and not before, last night I fell in love with this show. I’m hoping other people do as well. If not, at least we’re pissing off anonymous heavy metal fan internet posters…