Saturday, March 2, 2013

What would you like to see when you go to the theater?

I was recently asked what I would like to see when I go to the theater.

Before I could even think,  I heard my self say, "Something physical, lively, with a lot of energy.  Have you ever heard of Squonk Opera?"

I saw Squonk in the late 90s at PS122 in the city.  It is difficult to put into words what they are and how it makes you feel to experience their performance.   It is like a rock band from another planet with a really high other worldly female voice.  The voice is a delight and the music a trip.  There are synthesized horns and a double bass that isn't just for a baseline.  The accordion is a nice accent and the piano like a constant cascade throughout the music.

Visually you are at a rock concert with puppets and odd nonsensical things moving to and fro, projections take you through all kinds of nether worldly places along with some of the creatures and puppets the players become.  All the players play the instruments while they play the characters and manipulate magic.

Squonk rocked my theater world and nothing has compared since.

In 2002 I saw that Squonk was auditioning in the city.  I sent them me singing and dancing and performing music I had written.  They sent me two of their shows and asked me to prepare music from both, one of my own songs, and choreography.  I spent an hour with them auditioning, singing, dancing, laughing and playing.  It was really amazing... my best audition ever.  I had fun and got to hang out with performers I admire deeply and play in their world that I love so much.

I did not get to join their group as a performer and that is okay.  I was grateful for the time I did spend.

It has been years since I thought of them or listened to their work, but they still hold the spot in my heart and mind for the best theater experience and the best audition.  I noticed that they have 5 more shows and albums to go with them on ITunes.  I asked Wayne to get me a new one for my birthday.  I have Inferno and Bigsmorgasbordwonderwork.  I encourage you to check them out!

This is Squonk Opera...I hope you have the joy to see them one day and that they open your childhood heart as fully as they did mine.