Lizzie’s Back

The team behind the raucous rock retelling of Lizzie Borden released their concept album this month. Few things will prepare you for October thrills and chills as well as this CD.

lizzie

Based on the most notorious “unsolved” murder case of the 1800s, this Cheslik-DeMeyer, Hewitt and Maner tuner is currently getting a treatment in Houston’s TUTS Underground season.

The album’s powerhouse voices and catchy belt-along-numbers are made only more delightful by some thoughtful sound editing that infuses tense moments with an extra dose of terror. A terrific adrenaline-infused ride from start to finish.

For a taste of the show for those not familiar, check out the clip below:

 

Reasons why this montage from last year’s Cleveland production might rock your world a little:

Lizzie ________ Borden. Who knew that the real life Borden had such intense daddy-issues?

Look at what they’re wearing. Uptight Victorian dresses devolve into Versace-inspired rock wear. Leather, lace and tulle give this 19th century retelling a vicious bite.

Look ma! No Men. They effectively tell the entire story employing only female characters – Lizzie Borden, her sister Emma, the housemaid and the girl-next-door/maybe-secret-lover.

You will never think of hairspray cans in the same way again. Brilliant take on Borden burning up an old dress, one of the pieces of potential evidence.

Four ladies fierce screlting their faces off. Enough said.

Some Years Ago — Never Mind How Long Precisely, Tilda Swinton Read a Tome

moby

How many of us can say that they’ve actually got around to reading Melville’s novel, easily considered a treasure of world literature?

Peninsula Arts with Plymouth University have made the daunting task a little easier with their 21st century-friendly project, the Big Read. Readers such as Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry embellish a chapter of Moby Dick each with their voice and skill. The project also curated 136 artists to create an accompanying illustration for each of the chapters of the book.

No better way to revisit a classic than by bringing it to the arts-hungry culture in such a digestible format.

mobyread

Should you need me these next few days, I’ll be diving into these deeper waters.

Image Source

Shakespeare’s Rocking Out

LLL

The brilliant team behind Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is at it again. Director and bookwriter Alex Timbers and composer Michael Friedman have collaborated again on a modern musical retelling of the Bard’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. From the sound of this track, released yesterday on Shakespeare’s 449th birthday, the show promises to be a contemporary romp and a love letter of sorts to the inimitable writer himself.

It will take this stage this summer as part of the free Shakespearefest that descends upon Central Park’s Delacorte Theater each year. From the Shakespeare in the Park notes on the show: “Romance, revelry and enchanting music ignite in this contemporary yet lovingly faithful musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy. The King and his best buds decide at their five-year college reunion to swear off the joys of women. But when four cute, clever girls from their past show up, they’re forced to reconsider all of that nonsense! Smart, sexy, outrageous, and irreverent, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST is a madcap celebration of true love and coming of age.”

AreYouaManClick above to listen

Everything is Connected

Discovered this weekend that this soundtrack makes for the best driving music on long trips around the city. The end credits specifically. Take a listen and let your day transform into something extraordinary.

Letting the Heart Have Its Say

ladylay

The mind delights in lofty pursuits -
Tête-a-têtes in bilingual prose
And dissections of unsatisfying denouements -
Just to prove it can.

But when words grow weary
And wits tire of the unending race,
May you learn to sing of your longing.

For the soul rejoices in hearing its song,
Strains of melody painting delicate truths,
All heart affirmed, all opposition abandoned
With no chance to be mistaken.

Image Source

Bite-Sized Wisdom: Von Goethe

This German playwright breaks down an ideal way to spend the day. Funny how prescriptions from centuries gone by can still be entirely apt today.

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.”
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Image Source

Why Keep the Good Stuff All To Yourself?

Sustain the spark that you’ve kept dim,
Hidden by cupped hands in near prayer.
Candles are made to show light.

Clutching the embers to the chest
Sears the hands with selfish worry -
A burn touching more than the skin.

Instead set it out for others to see
With passion – your new lantern’s oil.

Image Source

Heartstrings Tend to Know

Untangle the knots that hold your breath
Trapped tightly against your chest

Smooth out the line, too thin to be weighted,
Efforts to sever caught by its artful strength

Cast out the string, baited with care,
And wait with heightened senses

And once you feel the tug,
No matter how slight,

 Follow.

Image Source

Whether Grounded or in Flight, Your Wings Won’t Forget Where They Wish to Go

“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”
– Thoreau

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7