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.
Continue reading “US” Stage Script Reading: Photos @ The Neighborhood Playhouse (6/16/2009)
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.
Continue reading “US” Stage Script Reading @ The Neighborhood Playhouse (6/16/2009)
Artist: Liquid Tension Experiment
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Label: Magna Carta Records
What do you get if you remove James LaBrie’s vocals from the Dream Theater equation and then swap an already magnificent bass player with an even more awe-inspiring legend? Well, the answer is very simply stated as Liquid Tension Experiment. The powerhouse Progressive Metal project came to fruition back in 1997 and was founded by Dream Theater’s drummer Mike Portnoy and when his original choices for the group’s guitarist were unavailable he opened the spot to his band mate John Petrucci. Jordan Rudess of the Dixie Dregs came on as keyboardist and Tony Levin of the legendary King Crimson handled bass and Chapman stick. Two albums would be recorded by the project and each would be met with considerable approval. This came from not only Dream Theater fans, but those who enjoyed King Crimson, the Dixie Dregs and any other number of the Prog-Metal/Rock mainstays of the time. The music was close to but not exactly like that of Dream Theater and of course all of it would remain instrumental. With the talents that all of these guys possessed there was really no need for a vocal to be introduced at all. Fast forwarding through time up to the present day finds us celebrating the bands 10th Anniversary Reunion and not only would select shows be performed around the country, but the band had also just headlined the prestigious NEAR Fest only two days prior to this performance. I found it interesting when I realized that the Fish show we attended the week before had found him headlining one of the festival nights and here we are bearing witness to the other main act on that bill after it had all happened. Another interesting fact about the Liquid Tension Experiment is that Jordan Rudess had become a fulltime member of Dream Theater and he has been in the role since 1998 or so which made seeing these guys doing material outside of the DT scope really something to be fascinated by. News of the bands reunion appearance at the legendary B.B. King Blues Club would find the performance selling out in a couple of days. The response was so great that the band decided to add a later evening performance to avoid any disappointment in their fans. I made sure to get in place for the early show and since I had never really followed them I was very excited to be a part of the goings on tonight. Here is how is happened.
Continue reading Liquid Tension Experiment @ B.B. King Blues Club (6/23/2008)