Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir to Bring THE HONEYBEELUJAH SHOW to Joe's Pub, 5/4-6/22
Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir, who first rose to international attention for their music-based consciousness-raising about consumerism, have recently turned their focus to a different menace: big companies' instrumental role in climate disruption. New York City's singing activists will perform The Honeybeelujah Show-in which they take up the "Big Ag" complex of mono-culture farming, with the honeybee, one of its victims, as the Choir's animal guide-May 4 - June 22 at Joe's Pub at The Public (425 Lafayette St, NYC).
The Honeybeelujah Show will run for eight consecutive Sundays at 2pm. Directed by Savitri D., with Music Director Nehemiah Luckett, the performances will feature the 35-member Stop Shopping Choir, fronted by their eco-televangelist, Reverend Billy, and accompanied by the five-piece Not Buying It Band. Each week will feature a talk by the Reverend with a natural scientist. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.joespub.com or 212.967.7555.
The Choir's upcoming Joe's Pub engagement follows their sold-out 2013 holiday season run at the prestigious venue, which, along with performances in bank lobbies and New York courts, decried lending institutions that are financing resource-extraction and are, by extension, responsible for climate destruction. With honeybees as their new inspiration, Reverend Billy's "post-religious" church joins a worldwide movement already in motion. He explains, "Protests against the killers of our crucial pollinating collaborators are everywhere, including #10 Downing Street. And yet the effort to save the honeybee is weak enough for Monsanto and its peers to continue to deny the science that makes clear how deadly their products are. The movement to save the Honey Bee needs the Stop Shopping Choir's theatrical tactics. Get ready to swarm!"
In their shows at Joe's Pub last November and December, and in non-violent bank lobby actions leading up to those performances, the singers inhabited the character of the Golden Toad, a small amphibian forced into extinction by extreme climate change in Central America in the late 80s. For one of these performances, at a JPMorgan Chase location on September 12, 2013, prosecutors demanded a year in prison and $30k bail for William Talen (aka Reverend Billy) and Nehemiah Luckett. The 15-minute performance earned criminal charges of "Riot," "Menacing" and "Unlawful Assembly." Those charges have been dropped, but the trial continues. The defendants are pleading innocent of all charges, including trespassing and unlawful assembly. As Reverend Billy says, "Radical choirs need to sing in big bank lobbies!" In 2014, the choir will buzz in and around the New York City headquarters of the Big Ag complex: Monsanto, Bayer, Cargill, Merrill Lynch, Blackstone, Archer Daniels Midland and others.
The Choir's 2013 performances at Joe's Pub and in bank lobbies were part of a national tour, during which The Huffington Post wrote, "Few souls are blessed with proper amounts of spunk and Earth-justice panache as Reverend Billy. And even fewer of them have the ability to spawn a successful tour that raises the level of awareness about the link between big banks and the eroding environment. But leave it to this eclectic performing artist/preacher-so robust, so postmodern-Elvis-and his passionate posse to artfully descend upon the masses with something so distinctly one-of-a-kind."
In advance of the The Honeybeelujah Show at Joe's Pub, Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir will co-headline A Little Night Musik with Justin Vivian Bond and Nellie McKay, March 10, 8pm at The Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street). The event is a benefit for The New Amsterdam School, a Waldorf school in the East Village. Tickets and more information can be found at www.alittlenightmusik.com.
Reverend Billy has won an OBIE Award, the Alpert Award, The Dramalogue Award and The Historic Districts Council's Preservation Award (for leading demonstrations to save Manhattan's Poe House), and has been jailed more than 50 times. He was a central figure of Occupy Wall Street and toured 25 OWS tent communities from Zurich to Oakland, CA with the Stop Shopping Choir. He has run for New York City mayor on the Green Party ticket. Reverend Billy has released three CDs, three documentary films, published two books, and produced eight 28-minute television shows as part of the The Last Televangelist, broadcast on the cable channel Free Speech Television. Savitri D and the Reverend are frequent guests of news media, having appeared on The Today Show, CBS Evening News, Nightline, Fox News, Al-Jazeera, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Colmes, Democracy Now, NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Marketplace," Geraldo Rivera, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show, The BBC World Service, BBC 1 and numerous other local and regional affiliates and International print outlets.