Magic Futurebox Presents THE PESTILENCE IS COMING, Now thru 7/22
Magic Futurebox has announced the world premiere of The Pestilence is Coming!: A Super Fun New Musical about How You Will Probably Die Based on the Album by the Minor Leagues, with book by Katharine Clark Gray. Previews will run tonight, July 5th - June 8th and performances July 11th - 15th and 18th - 22nd at Magic Futurebox at 55 33rd St., 4th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11232 D, N, R to 36th St.
Welcome to Center Square USA: where prosperity comes in giant supermarket form, even as the town dries up around it. For young Jake, comic book collector and all-purpose observer, the arrival of the Big Green Super Mart spells death of a certain way of life. But there will soon come a more immediate threat in the form of a killer plague. Does his town– or humanity– stand a chance? The answer lies somewhere in Montreal with a mysterious and seductive super-scientist.
Come visit a post-apocalyptic theater for rats by rats and hear their favorite story celebrating the events that led to a world free from human tyranny: an indie-pop musical performed by nine pet people playing more than sixty-five characters.
Directed by Kevin Laibson, the show will feature Ryan Feyk as Jake, Christina Toth as Christienne, Sadie Brummer as Terry, Darrell Purcell as Mr. Oliver, Ashton Foster as Lackeys Can & Will, Dennis Kozee as Protester Mel, Amber Nicole Patrick as CEO Marlena Pritchard, Shannon Ryan as Lois Gapp, Instigator and Drew Torkelson as Businessman Bob.
The Pestilence is Coming! has a book with additional lyrics by Katharine Clark Gray and music and lyrics by Ben Walpole and The Minor Leagues.
Music Direction and Arrangement is by Jacob Bremkamp. Scenic Design: Nick Nocera. Lighting Design: David Sexton. Production Design: Suzan Eraslan.
The Minor Leagues’ album The Pestilence is Coming came across director/producer Kevin Laibson’s desk in 2006 when he was working as the editor of Origivation Music Magazine in Philadelphia. Filling in for a sick record reviewer, Pestilence was one of 15 records he had to take on that week, and after writing it a rave review, saw it as the springboard for an exciting rock musical. Enlisting the magazine’s top field reporter, playwright Katharine Clark Gray, they approached the band’s front man who enthusiastically agreed to let them turn his jangly indie-pop record into a show.
Katharine Clark Gray (Book, additional lyrics) is a 2008 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts. In 2001 she created Governor’s Laundress Productions to produce challenging work for stage, including her own The B Side (music by Chris Blisset) and You See Me Comin’ You Better Run (a Village Voice choice). Other credits include Francis Bacon (Kitchen Theatre Co.); Wired Shut (Manhattan Theatre Source); True Dreams of Wichita (The People’s Improv Theatre), User 927 (HERE); and numerous collaborations with Raw Impressions at Chashama and La MaMa, Etc. Her work has been produced by The Drilling Co., Three Graces, Process Theatre, MTP!, and the internationally acclaimed NextFest in Edmonton, AB. Her academic revenge romance 516 (five sixteen) premiered at the NY Int’l Fringe Festival, and has become a staple of the curriculum at Syracuse University’s Drama Dept. In Philadelphia, Ms. Gray was a writer/performer for Brat Productions’ Barrymore award-winning Three Chord Fiction, and her techno-thriller User 927 concluded Brat’s ’07-’08 season. Her work has been published by Smith & Kraus and EstroPress. As a reporter for Origivation Magazine, Ms. Gray has interviewed such musical luminaries as Perry Farrell, Daniel Johnston, the Skatalites, Motion City Soundtrack, and Gogol Bordello. She’s a member of InterAct Theatre Co.’s Playwright’s Forum and a Teaching Artist with Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
The Minor Leagues (music and lyrics): Ben Walpole (vocals) and Patrick Helmes (guitar) started The Minor Leagues in Cincinnati as a recording project. But five albums and five band members later (Hilly Kenkel - vocals; Luke McGlasson, guitar and trumpet; Amanda Lee Anderson - keyboards; Jesse Rogers - bass; Matt Retherford - drums), the band probably is best known now for its live shows that regularly feature lots of noise, audience contests, guessing games, more noise, odd dancing, noise and more between-song banter than is medically recommended. Their music blends Brill Building arrangements with the drive and sing- along choruses of 90s Brit-pop, all set against a backdrop of lush instrumentation. The band's past work has earned them comparisons to recent popsmiths like Belle & Sebastian and The New Pornographers, but their charm, witty lyricism and ear for detail sets them apart from the rest.
Kevin Laibson (director) is a producer, director, improviser and teacher from New York City. As artistic director of Full Circle Theatre Company, Kevin directed the twice-extended Off-Off-Broadway revival of Jeffrey, and the Off-Broadway debut of Marta Rainer's acclaimed Unaccustomed to my Name. For Magic Futurebox, he directed the New York premiere of Tommy Smith’s Demon Dreams, with a new score by DJ Spooky. Regionally, he has directed for the Village Productions, Exclamation Theater, and the Tri-Country Performing Arts Center in and around Philadelphia. In 2009, he directed Skyscraper National Park, an experimental improvisational theater troupe which performed on rooftops in Brooklyn, and since 2010, he’s been the director for the acclaimed sketch group City Hall. He’s a three-time INNY award nominee for his work with rebecca AND ron and City Hall. He is a graduate of the New Actors Workshop, where he studied acting, directing and improvisation under Mike Nichols, Paul Sills, George Morrison, Rex Knowles, and Sherry Landrum, and studied at Second City under Michael Gelman, Mary Scruggs, Norm Holly, and Anne Libera. Along with being co-executive artistic director of Magic Futurebox, he currently teaches acting, directing, and improvisation at the New York Film Academy and curates theatre at The Tank. Immediately after Pestilence opens, he’ll be directing Next to Normal for the Steel River Playhouse in Pennsylvania.
Doors open at 7:30 for the show at 8:00. Tickets are $18 / $13 for students and unemployed, now available at http://thepestilenceiscoming.eventbrite.com