Bruce Haack's "Electric Lucifer," the rock opera

Transform Bruce Haack's ELECTRIC LUCIFER into a rock opera

In the late 1970s, experimental composer Bruce Haack released "Electric Lucifer," two strange and fantastical electronic psychedelic music albums that embody the high weirdness of the era. The two albums employ Moogs, guitar, voice, and a DIY vocoder to tell an epic story of the battle between heaven and hell. Now, theater director Jim Findlay is transforming Electric Lucifer into a rock opera for the stage. It will premiere at The Kitchen in New York City on January 9, 2018. Support its production via Kickstarter. The campaign has just a few days left!

In the album liner notes, Bruce Haack writes that The Electric Lucifer is a redemption story about a power so strong it can redeem even Lucifer. I took that as gospel and this piece is about redemption right now-2017. How can we redeem even the worst of 'us'? When I look around the question is harder than it seems. Who is us? Whose suffering needs redeeming? And how do we find the power to rise above our "hate and pain and fear" and move toward a real redemption. Not just for others but for ourselves.

This project promises a fresh new vision of Bruce’s world and music by taking his Electric Lucifer concept albums and re-imagining them as a fully realized electronic rock opera with live musicians and performers. Seeing Haack’s previously un-staged vision as a gloriously wild live performance will be a treat for Haack fans and a revelation for those who were unfamiliar with his work and influence.

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Alien Autopsy: the one-man theater show from one of the hoaxers!

Remember the 1995 TV program Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction that we all wanted to believe was real? Of course, the ET autopsy turned out to be a hoax, or rather, according to producer Ray Santilli, a "reconstruction" of film shot in 1947 that he had seen. Now, one of the hoaxers, Spyros Melaris, has staged a one-man show in London's East End to tell the real (?) story behind the story of the autopsy that you can watch below. From Paul Seaburn's article at Mysterious Universe:

(Melaris) claims he was the director of the film and the one responsible for creating the fake aliens and other special effects. Melaris says he met Ray Santilli, the producer and name most associated with the autopsy film, in 1995 at a music event in Cannes. Santilli later confided that he had the actual footage of an alien autopsy and wanted Melaris to make a documentary about it.

However, when Santilli showed him a copy of the alleged ‘real’ film, Melaris determined it was a fake shot on video. He says he instead agreed to make a fake version of the autopsy on film, release it as the real thing and them make another documentary on how they pulled off the fake. He hired John Humphreys, a special effects expert who has worked on Dr. Who, to make the alien’s body using his 10-year-old son as a model. Melaris bought 1940s surgical outfits, used cow, sheep, pig and lamb organs (the local butcher must have loved them) for the alien’s internal parts and spliced in footage from a 1947 newsreel.

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Return of Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol -- "graphic, amoral horror entertainment"

Grand Guignol was a French theater from the late 19th century that specialized in hosting graphic horror performances. A typical show would involve insane or hysterical characters, gory special effects, and a very bloody ending.

This month Corey Helford Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles presented three plays of Theater du Grand Guignol and two adult entertainments inspired by Oh! Calcutta!. With barf-bag and playbill in hand, audience members enjoyed very intimate showings of the one-act plays "Final Kiss," "Laboratory of Hallucinations," and "The Old Women."

Schuyler Helford, the director, said that working with these translated French plays was a wonderful experience since they are relatively unknown and include a good amount of comedy, an element that made the horror even more chilling. Gasps and laughter were constant throughout "Laboratory of Hallucinations," a play about a mad doctor who performs a controversial operation on his wife’s lover. When the adulterer, now insane, awakens in an unfamiliar laboratory, he turns on the doctor and things get bloody.

The two adult entertainments, shown between the one-act horrors, were Suite for Five Letters and Jack and Jill, which are based on the sex-ridden revue of 1969, Oh! Calcutta! Again, the combination of horror and comedy intensified the mood of the night. The actors, props, special effects, and dialogue were all believable, and the intimacy of the gallery setting helped make these acts absorbing. The final act of the night, "The Old Women," focused on a group of women in an insane asylum who plotted, out of jealousy, to blind another, more attractive resident. Read the rest

Patti Smith's tribute to her friend Sam Shepard

In the New Yorker, Patti Smith wrote a lovely tribute to her friend, Sam Shepard, experimental theater pioneer, actor, and Pulitzer-winning playwright who died on Thursday. The two artists became close during the early 1970s as they both made the scene in New York City's avant-garde downtown. Read the rest

Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, the musical

Next year, the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts will premier a new musical based on Alanis Morissette's classic 1995 album Jagged Little Pill. Diablo Cody ("Juno" and "Ricki and the Flash") will write the book while Tony Award winner Diane Paulus ("Pippin) is directing.

Jagged Little Pill "had so much meaning in its time,” Paulus told the New York Times, and Morissette is an artist “with courage and power and vulnerability.”

Damn right.

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Sweet 16 on the Subway

This cute video is circulating which shows a group of people, led by a young woman, who want to throw a very brief birthday party for a friend on a subway car in New York City. The friend is unknowingly being guided into this situation by an accomplice. Banners and balloons, blow-ticklers, sashes, and whatnot, are all prepared in the space of a few minutes (two subway stops) before the birthday girl enters the car and suddenly it’s all surprises, hugs, kisses, music, dancing, and cupcakes.

Isn’t that heartwarming? Doesn’t it just make you feel great about New York.

It’s fake. Notice that none of the birthday partiers are older than, say, 25, and they’re all so incredibly attractive.

The so-called “friends” in the subway car are actors and actresses who work for a company called Improv Everywhere.

Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based comedy collective that stages unexpected performances in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere aims to surprise and delight random strangers through positive pranks, or “missions.”

The director of “theater company,” Charlie Todd, writes on their website:

For years the subway has been our favorite performance venue. We’ve had pizza parties, talk shows, wedding proposals, and even time traveling twins. For each of these projects we create a scene that gives random people the option to say yes and be part of something awesome. If you haven’t figured out by now, this was not a real a surprise birthday party. Jenny was an actor along with everyone else in our group.

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Political theater: swapping gender roles in recreations of the Trump/Clinton debates

NYU poli sci/econ professor Maria Guadalupe and educational theater prof Joe Salvatore collaborated to stage a recreation of the Trump/Clinton debates with the gender roles reversed, starring actors who played Brenda King, "a female version of Trump" and Jonathan Gordon, "a male version of Hillary Clinton." Read the rest

Watch this insanely fast high school theater costume quick change

http://carrie-onn.tumblr.com/post/141383859787/anyone-who-tries-to-tell-you-theatre-is-easy

These are a few of my favorite things. Read the rest

They're making a Twits ale from Roald Dahl's body-yeast

Roald Dahl spent the last of his days in a special armchair that he modded to help him with back pain from a WWII injury; now, in honour of the Dinner at the Twits interactive theatre events, the craft 40FT Brewery has swabbed some yeast from Dahl's chair and cultured it to brew Mr. Twit's Odious Ale, which will be served at the event. Read the rest

Remarkably Normal: the true stories of abortion in America

The 1 in 3 campaign collects the true personal stories of the roughly 30% of American women who've had an abortion; Remarkably Normal, a play whose actors recounts those stories, wrapped up its first national tour in June. Read the rest

Archival video of original Hamilton cast will be made before Lin-Manuel Miranda moves on

Lin-Manuel Miranda's final performance in his amazing, blockbuster musical Hamilton will come on July 9 (he'll be replaced by his alternate, Javier Muñoz), but before then, he'll allow a video-crew in to make an archival recording. Read the rest

Kickstarting interactive theater about the Uber for Everything apocalypse

Tassos writes, "I’m one of Coney, who make all kinds of play where the audience can take meaningful part. I’m writing and game-designing REMOTE, a new piece of ticklishly interactive theatre, exploring the limits of human agency inside big pervasive systems of capital and technology." Read the rest

Excellent tailgate puppet theater in traffic jams

If you're stuck in gridlock in Ljubljana, Slovenia, you might be lucky enough to be entertained by a tailgate puppet show from the Mini Teater.

"It demonstrates a true power of theater as it amuses people when being least amused - stuck in traffic jams," they write.

(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

Shakespeare probably smoked weed, scientists say

Several pipes excavated from William Shakespeare's garden contained cannabis, report scientists who used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze the items. Read the rest

Watch scenes from LSD: The Opera!

Five scenes from "LSD: The Opera" performed at Los Angeles's REDCAT last month. It ain't over 'til Tim Leary sings? Read the rest

Last Unicorn heading to Broadway

Peter Beagle's beloved novel is in development as a touring musical with Josh Duhamel and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. Read the rest

Charles Manson, the musical

"Charles Manson: Summer of Hate – The Musical" just opened at Hamburg, Germany's Thalia Theater. Read the rest

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