We opened at the Incubator Arts Project on Thursday night, still just wading into our first week of performances but the response so far has been really positive and the experience has been great. I thought I would post a round up of some of the press we’ve received over the last week.
Live performance of He Touched Me!
Steve Smith names Matt Marks’ album The Little Death: Vol. 1 on of his best of 2010!
What had been a great collection of smart, sometimes silly, pop songs in the guise of a gently confusing pop opera has evolved into a smartly stage, well focused piece of musical theater.
While Marks’ excellent music provided the building blocks, director Rafael Gallegos has built a solid foundation and has cemented the building block together to form an elegant theatrical environment for the Marks’ eerie love story.
As a performer, Marks dives pelvis-first into the rock-star physicality of his part and exhibits a capable vocal range, even if he and Hughes are occasionally drowned out by the throbbing music. Thanks to her own strong vocals, Hughes is able to navigate the jumpiness of the music well, and her dirty, thrusting rendition of “He Touched Me,” in a wedding dress, is quite raucous and absurd, like something out of a Kate Bush music video.
Saturated with sampled timbres and driven by sputtering hip-hop break beats, Mr. Marks’s music is bright and sentimental, at times even cloying in a manner meant to evoke anodyne commercial Christian pop. But Mr. Marks’s crafty juxtapositions, clashes and transformations add to the opera’s overall sense of ambiguity; in moments when he underscores sexual urges scarcely hidden within his squeaky-clean borrowed sources, substantial heat results.
A versatile soprano who excels in both standard classical repertory and modern works, Ms. Hughes sounded idiomatic and perky in indie-pop songs, and brought convincingly soulful grit to gospel numbers.
The direction by Rafael Gallegos is really fine and adds a great deal to something that is already interesting, involving and satisfying. Just listening to the CD leaves some odd narrative gaps that the mind tries to fill in, and Gallegos has worked out a fascinating and effective sense of temporal narrative. The events that the songs portray, including the opening shooting, have an overall order, even with what is one big flashback (and of course young men have a tendency to try and kill what they can’t possess), and having things unfold through time, both forward and backward, brings out more of the complex nature of the characters, who, despite their generic names, are holding real internal contradictions together, and touching on them alternately and simultaneously. It’s one of the better and more relevant Off-Broadway musicals out there right now, not preachy at all and completely entertaining.
It’s been an amazing week, and we have two performances left so use that discount code TLDV1 to snag your $12 tix for tonight or tomorrow. Next week’s performances run from Wednesday through Saturday.
And because I love you.. check out the official FULL I Don’t Have Any Fun Video by our awesome video crew Satan’s Pearl Horses