New Gay Rock Opera TUNNELVISION: THE MUSICAL to Premiere at The Studio @ 620
In celebration of LGBT Pride Month, The Studio @ 620 will present the world debut of the new gay rock opera, "Tunnelvision: The Musical."
Set during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, the new queer rock opera, Tunnelvision: The Musical, tells the story of Tim and Troy and their tumultuous relationship, from beginning to end.
Written by Tim Cain, the lead singer of the glam rock band, Boys' Entrance, the show is being called the next Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Both use the power of rock to convey a dramatic and powerful story, but while Hedwig uses humor to defuse a personal tragedy, Tunnelvision is more operatic and dramatic, incorporating a wide array of music genres into its story.
There is Heavy Metal and Goth; also Soul, Industrial, New Wave, Hip Hop, Jazz, Psychedelic, Gospel and even Cabaret. The songs flow in style and type, helping to inform the lyrics.
Tunnelvision: The Musical opens at Studio 620 in St Petersburg, FL on June 9. Tunnelvision by Boys' Entrance is available on iTunes now.
The opera opens with rocker Tim on stage, getting jeered by the audience for being queer. He responds by unabashedly claiming the title of "Mr. Sissy". His bold declaration wins the crowd over, then, in "Creation," he explains how the purpose of gay men is to create, not procreate.
Troy, a closeted straight man, happens to be in the audience. The two hook up after the show and begin a rollercoaster ride of a relationship that involves break-ups and make-ups, drugs, alien encounters and one of the men becoming a call boy. The two say they want to be in a committed relationship together, but they simply don't know how to navigate the uncharted territory. The physical relationship between Tim and Troy eventually breaks down, but their desires continue unabated. That is when the "wolf" comes knocking at the door.
The wolf in "The Wolf Is At The Door" is temptation. The song is Peter Gabriel meets Duran Duran meets David Bowie. It is funky like Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" with a Duran Duran veneer and a final verse that pays homage to Bowie. It is the climax of the opera, coming at a point of intense exasperation between Tim and Troy, conveying sexual appetite and frustration.
"Who hasn't experienced both?" questions Cain. "It is a song that grabs listeners by the balls and won't let go. It makes you want to move," he says.
In the 25 years since Tim Cain created his band, Boys' Entrance, he has produced some of Queer Rock's most iconic, political, and galvanizing music. The band features Cain on vocals and guitar; his multi-instrumentalist husband, Billy Ramsey on bass; lead guitarist, Jaybo Key; and drummer, John Spinelli.
They've experienced acclaim and awards over the years. In the '90s, Boys' Entrance received two "Rock Single of the Week" reviews in Billboard Magazine. In 2005, Cain was awarded an OutMusic Award for his 30 year career as a gay musician.
Cain is thrilled that Tunnelvision, his magnum opus, will follow The Who's Tommy with both album and stage versions. "They will stand alone as separate projects," he says. "The album offers the old school idea of sitting down and listening, going somewhere in your mind. Tunnelvision: The Musical will be a tour de force. It will be filled with lust, drama, sex in parks and naked men. Yes, naked men! It is a definite must-see!"
In both the album and stage versions, the story of Tim and Troy ends not-so-happily-ever-after. "It is a rock opera, after all," explains Cain. "Tragedy is the currency of opera."
Still, the music of the finale, "Back to One," sounds like a sunrise. It conjures up those first few moments when the sky begins to turn and the sun appears. For rocker Tim, there is satisfaction at having removed himself from the madness of his relationship with Troy. There is also a pride that comes from realizing he is ok, alone. "It's a reminder that at the end of the day, we all ride solo in this journey of life," says Cain.
"Tunnelvision - the Musical" will debut in St. Petersburg, FL at Studio 620 on June 9. Special preview performance on June 8th. Tickets at www.thestudioat620.org/events/tunnelvision-by-tim-cain.