Skylight Music Theatre Presents HYDROGEN JUKEBOX, Now thru 3/30
Skylight Music Theatre performs Hydrogen Jukebox, the eclectic and fascinating result of collaboration in the late 1980s between composer Philip Glass and beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The production runs tonight, March 14 through March 30 in the Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center (158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee WI).
Hydrogen Jukebox is a portrait of America from the 1950s to 1980s, covering social issues such as the sexual revolution, drugs and eastern philosophy. The chamber opera features music from Philip Glass created to incorporate the rhythmic expression of Allen Ginsberg's poems, notably "Howl", from which the title of the piece was derived. Throughout the production, six actors representing American archetypes take the audience on the psychological journey through Ginsberg's America.
"Ultimately, the motif of Hydrogen Jukebox, the underpinning, the secret message, secret activity, is to relieve human suffering by communicating some kind of enlightened awareness of various themes, topics, obsessions, neuroses, difficulties, problems, perplexities that we encounter as we end the millennium, " said Ginsberg.
Jukebox continues Skylight's 2013-14 season focused on revolution and freedom by exploring the revolution of an American generation as it struggles with the social issues pivotal to that period of our country's history. Utilizing innovative and state-of-the-art projection images and a stark set, Jukebox will leave audiences mesmerized and moved as they experience this dynamic, avant-garde production.
"Fundamentally it strikes me as a truly American story. It opens with Ginsberg traveling through Texas on a train and it talks about his journeys through the Midwest. It is a metaphor for the journey we take as a country - one of hope for the future and the unity we share as Americans," said Skylight Artistic Director, Viswa Subbaraman.
"Yes, on the surface, Jukebox speaks to a generation past, but the issues, the themes, are ever present in our current society. This is a piece for all generations and speaks to those both young and old as only Ginsberg and Glass can achieve."
Skylight is once again joining forces with the ACLU of Wisconsin and the Cream City Foundation to build a bigger conversation, one that spans generations and is still wildly relevant.