As discussed right here on the website, PiercingMetal’s own Ken Pierce and “Skeleton” Pete Parrella were exploring some different media worlds with their coverage of the stage script reading of a hopefully Broadway bound musical called “Us”. The experience was fully documented in a post that you can find HERE, and now please enjoy a full gallery of images that were captured care of the keen eye of Skeleton Pete.
Followers of the PiercingMetal Musings Blog might recall an article that we did for the Stage Script Reading of a new play called “Allies: The Musical” several months ago. The show featured the music of the band Heart and having loved their stuff for many years I was interested in seeing just how it would be used within the context of a play aimed at Broadway. It was also the chance to bring a little bit of difference to our day so we could not resist partaking in it. That play was written by both Celina Carvajal and Maggie Levin and we truly had a good time and look forward to seeing something come of the project very soon. Interested readers can examine that overview by clicking HERE. After the reading we made sure to stay in contact with the creators and that brings us to this new article about their latest adventure – a play entitled “US”. This time around the reading that was being done would feature the music of the legendary Progressive Music icon Peter Gabriel who many fondly remember from the early days of Genesis along with a truly prolific solo career. When it came to “Allies” I was able to easily see how that bands music worked within a love story, but I had to admit some curiosity about how the music of such a Prog-Rock giant would work along similar lines. Today’s reading would be held at The Neighborhood Playhouse down on 53rd Street and 2nd Avenue NYC. Kindly set your cell phones to vibrate for the duration of this blog musing as the show commentary is set to begin.
Welcome to the Neighborhood PlayhouseThe play was introduced by Maggie F. Levin who conceived, wrote and directed the storyline that we were about to be treated to. She outlined how excited she was about this particular play and its use of the wonderful music of Peter Gabriel. Of course, a stage reading is a bare bones thing where the actors are not in costume and instead stand in one spot reading their lines while stage direction is handled by another party. Maggie told us that the story also takes place in a bit of a fantasy world where there are all sorts of vivid Circe du Soleil types of characters present and inter mingling with the cast as their story unfolds so one had to let their imagination run wild while we watched and listened. Stage readings are interesting to be a part of because there is a very simple set up with chairs for the actors to sit in until their part requires them to be at the microphone reading their lines from the script. There are no costumes to speak of and the stage directions are read off by another party. In our case we had Emma Canalese handling this task. Having only been to two of these things so far, I am not sure if the musical accompaniment is par for the course, but was happy to report that for this reading we would have the presence of a full band.
About the Reading: “US” tells the story of a house and family divided by the bitter sting of divorce and how the principal characters are dealing with it. It’s a very common story these days and that will allow the play to make sense to so many people. The opening number was “Talk To Me” and it was sung to perfection by Bryce Ryness who did such a great job of emulating Peter Gabriel’s tone and inflection that if he ever comes to front a classic Genesis tribute act I will try to be one of the first in the door. Bryce plays the part of the Father figure of the story, Hunter Jace. His daughter Brooke Jace is a rebellious and volatile young lady played by Celina Carvajal. Ms. Carvajal gets the most stage time it seems as she deals with both sides of her now split mother and father and frequently interacts with her equally wild friends.