The Kitchen to Welcome Back Neal Medlyn for KING World Premiere, 10/23-26
The Kitchen welcomes back Neal Medlyn for the world premiere of King, the seventh and final work in his series of performance pieces built around pop stars. With King, Medlyn turns his attention to the pop star par excellence: Michael Jackson. King will contain radical reinterpretations of famous Michael Jackson songs, outside text (from Maxim Gorky's My Childhood, among other sources), some of Medlyn's personal biography and various elements of show business.
Performed by Medlyn, Farris Craddock and a small children's choir, King features musical direction by Matt Ray, costumes by Larry Krone, lighting design by Madeline Best and sculpture by Fawn Krieger, inspired by the Michael Jackson HIStory statues.
Performances will take place October 23-26 at 8:00 P.M. at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street). Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.thekitchen.org; by phone at 212.255.5793 x11; or in person at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street), Tuesdays - Saturdays, 2:00 - 6:00 P.M.
Medlyn launched his Pop Star Series in 2005, having previously created works that incorporated a grab bag of pop songs and other elements. Medlyn decided that focusing on a specific star would provide a filter, helping him to determine what to include in each show. In the Pop Star shows, he chooses things based on the intuitive feeling each star gives him: Dostoevsky's The Idiot fit into the framework of a Britney Spears show, Strauss' opera Arabella fit with Lionel Richie, and so on. The six shows in the series to date are: Neal Medlyn's Lionel Richie Opera, Coming in the Air Tonight (Phil Collins), Unpronounceable Symbol (Prince), ...Her's a Queen (Britney Spears), Brave New Girl (Miley Cyrus), and most recently, at The Kitchen last year, Wicked Clown Love (Insane Clown Posse).
The New York-based artist Neal Medlyn has performed in a variety of films, bands, dance pieces and plays; designed sound scores; been a model and a go-go dancer; and continues to do some of these things. He also performs as Champagne Jerry, a rapper.
Medlyn's performance work, primarily built around pop music, has appeared at the New Museum for Contemporary Art (The Neal Medlyn Experience Live!, a re-enactment of Beyonce's 2007 concert DVD), the Andy Warhol Museum and the Kitchen (Wicked Clown Love), Dance Theater Workshop (...Her's a Queen), the Chocolate Factory (Brave New Girl), Joe's Pub (where he was a co-creator and co-host of Our Hit Parade, which ran for four years), PS122, Fez (Neal Medlyn, the Paris Hilton of Performance Art), Ars Nova (Neal Medlyn's Lionel Richie Opera), the Knitting Factory and Galapagos Art Space (Neal Medlyn's Coming in the Air Tonight), and on tour across the U.S., Canada, Berlin, and in London, where he has been a resident performer at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
He won a 2010 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for his sound design for Miguel Gutierrez's Last Meadow and has also designed sound for a joint project between Gutierrez and Jenny Holzer at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. He was honored with the title of MR. Lower East Side in 2004. He co-starred with Karen Finley in George and Martha and has also collaborated with Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys), Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman and Adrienne Truscott.
His original Internet TV show, "Neal Medlyn's Land of Make Believe," was a cult sensation on Nerve.com. His dance moves have been featured in the work of choreographers Adrienne Truscott and David Neumann. He has written for New York Magazine's website and Nerve.com about topics ranging from R. Kelly to Blind Date, bisexuality to "Days of Our Lives" (with John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and Lisa Carver), among others. He has published a book, Sexual Buttocks, and released two albums.