Amber Gray, Grace McLean, and More Will Perform in Daniel Emond's KILL THE WHALE at Joe's Pub

The performance is on Sunday, April 14 at 6:00 PM.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
Amber Gray, Grace McLean, and More Will Perform in Daniel Emond's KILL THE WHALE at Joe's Pub
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KILL THE WHALE, a new rock, hiphop, and folk opera by 2023 Larson Grant Recipient Daniel Emond, will premiere at Joe’s Pub on Sunday, April 14 at 6:00 PM.  Nine years in the making, the show is built in the characters and waters of Moby-Dick, and the event will celebrate both digital and solid release of the full score as a concept album, pressed to black and white 2-disc vinyl.

Directed by Jason Sparks and featuring music direction by Simone Allen , the 90 minute show will feature Courtney Bassett (Teeth), Grace McLean (In The Green, Bad Cindarella, Suffs), Amber Gray (Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812), Jessie Shelton (Hadestown), Jana Djenne Jackson (Almost Famous), Daniel Emond (The Great Comet), Camellia Hartman (3X NPR Tiny Desk performer), and Kyle Scatliffe (Hamilton).

When Ishmael, a young rocker with an unknown past meets the hiphop harpooner Q, they join Peak-Wow, the Whaleship/rock band led by steel-eyed frontwoman Ahab, who sets her crew upon a course to kill the gigantic sperm whale that maimed her, a plan opposed by Ahab's first mate (and secret admirer), the devout and soulful Starbuck. Contending with face-melting squalls and mad mates, the hymnic wonder of whales nursing in the heart of the Ocean, and the poignant Gospel of the castaway roadie Pip, Peak-Wow embarks on a rock and roll quest for vengeance. 

The band includes Hartman on violin, Josh Henderson on viola, Rick Martinez on drums, Jamie Mohamdein on bass, David Kawamura on electric guitar, Julia Henderson on cello, and Simone Allen on Keys 2. All music and orchestrations by Daniel Emond with music preparation and additional arrangements by Andrew Griffin, Cynthia Meng, Jacklyn Riha, Simone Allen, and Daniel Emond. Sound design by Evan Tyor.

KILL THE WHALE features music and orchestrations by Daniel Emond who was recently named one of the 2023 Jonathan Larson Grant recipients. This esteemed award that comes with a $12,500 unrestricted grant and a $2,085 Saw Island Foundation Recording Grant. The other 2023 recipients are Julian Hornik, The Kilbanes, Larry Owens), Veronica Mansour, and the songwriting team of Jacinta Clusellas, Tatiana Pandiani and Melis Aker.

“When I started writing Kill The Whale it was my hope in using the classic American text of Moby-Dick and bringing it into the modern zeitgeist to elevate the material and explore contemporary themes of inclusion, conversations of gender, stardom, and power dynamics and the way they shift based on the bodies that inhabit the world,” said Daniel Emond. “Notably Melville himself has an interesting history, and there is no reason the story that he created over 150 years ago should not easily feel alive, relevant, and accessible to the new generation. Kill The Whale is a psychedelic, high-octane rock and hiphop fantasia, a grittier Godspell for a new century with a cast that is one in a million.”


DANIEL EMOND (Music and Orchestrations) is a NYC-based singer and composer for Musical Theatre.  He is a 2023 Larson Grant recipient, a 2023 NYFA grant recipient, and a 2023 CREATE finalist with the American Composer's Forum. He has written and developed Kill The Whale: A Musical Odyssey at the Polyphone Festival, Yaddo, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Corkscrew Festival, NYU, the Melville bi-Centennial Conference, and Nantucket Theatre Workshop. Other composing credits include the multi-lingual score to the International Production of Neil Bartlett’s The Plague at Hong Kong Arts Festival 2021, and DAWN. In 2022, Daniel workshopped a dream musical about Freud as an artist-in-residence at Culture Lab at the Plaxall Gallery and last year began work on an autobiographical indie musical at the Good Hart Residency in Michigan. 


Tickets for KILL THE WHALE at Joe’s Pub at 425 Lafayette Street are $25 (exclusive of service fee) through March 1 and $35 (exclusive of service fee) after March 1. There is a 2 drink or 1 food item minimum, per person, during every show at Joe's Pub. Doors open at 5:30 PM for a 6:00 PM performance on Sunday, April 14. (Running time is 90 minutes.)

To purchsse tickets, please visit,

For last-minute tickets, visit the Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. Web sales and phone sales end when doors open, and tickets may be available for in-person, walk-up sale right before the show begins.