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BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live Presents Crazy Diamond of Pink Floyd's Music

Photo by Will Shively

When Ashley Pearce interviewed to become a part of the Shadowbox Live theatre troupe, one of the questions she was asked what her favorite rock group was?

"I immediately said 'Pink Floyd,'" says Pearce said with a smile.

It turned out to be a really good answer. Unbeknownst to the actress, Shadowbox was in the planning stages for WHICH ONE'S PINK?, a "rockumentary" on Pearce's favorite band. The show opened on May 7 at Shadowbox (503 S. Front Street in downtown Columbus) and will run through Aug. 2.

This is Shadowbox's third foray into a rock band's catalogue. Last summer, the troupe took on the Beatles' music with their show BIGGER THAN JESUS and did a tribute to Joe Cocker with MAD DOG AND ENGLISHMEN last March.

A journey through Pink Floyd's 15 studio albums could have proven to be a trip through a dense, briar-filled path, involving twists in musical direction and changes in band personnel. However Shadowbox Live handles the arduous task with ease. The production puts its own unique spin on the group's music. A host of vocalists including Stephanie Shull, Cassi Ebright, Stacie Boord, Jamie Barrow, Stev Guyer and Noelle Grandison, experiment with new vocal arrangements of Floyd's classics. However guitarists Matthew Hahn and Brent Lambert, bassists Andy Ankrom and Buzz Crisafulli, keyboardist Kevin Sweeney and saxophonist Kris Keith never lose the essence of Pink Floyd.

The journey is divided into two acts. The first act deals with the life and times of Sy Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd and one of rock-and-roll's first drug causalities. Barrett was only with the band for three years (1965-68) and a part of only two albums (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets) but was the essential architect of the band's unique sound. Barrett's excessive use of LSD accelerated his departure from the group and left him as a recluse until his death in 2006.

Michelle Daniels plays the role of Nancy, a narrator who takes the audience through a trip through Barrett's life as she interviews friends (Edelyn Parker), roadies and neighbors (Billy DePetro), manager (Tom Cardinal), producer (Jim Andes),

When Ashley Pearce interviewed to become a part of the Shadowbox Live theatre troupe, one of the questions she was asked was what her favorite rock group?

"I immediately said 'Pink Floyd,'" says Pearce said with a smile.

It turned out to be a really good answer. Unbeknownst to the actress, Shadowbox was in the planning stages for WHICH ONE'S PINK?, a "rockumentary" on Pearce's favorite band. The show opened on May 7 at Shadowbox (503 S. Front Street in downtown Columbus) and will run through Aug. 2.

This is Shadowbox's third foray into a rock band's catalogue. Last summer, the troupe took on the Beatles' music with their show BIGGER THAN JESUS and did a tribute to Joe Cocker with MAD DOG AND ENGLISHMEN last March.

A journey through Pink Floyd's 15 studio albums could have proven to be a trip through a dense, briar-filled path, involving twists in musical direction and changes in band personnel. However Shadowbox Live handles the arduous task with ease. The production puts its own unique spin on the group's music. A host of vocalists including Stephanie Shull, Cassi Ebright, Stacie Boord, Jamie Barrow, Stev Guyer and Noelle Grandison, experiment with new vocal arrangements of Floyd's classics. However guitarists Matthew Hahn and Brent Lambert, bassists Andy Ankrom and Buzz Crisafulli, keyboardist Kevin Sweeney and saxophonist Kris Keith never lose the essence of Pink Floyd.

The journey is divided into two acts. The first act deals with the life and times of Sy Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd and one of rock-and-roll's first drug causalities. Barrett was only with the band for three years (1965-68) and a part of only two albums (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets) but was the essential architect of the band's unique sound. Barrett's excessive use of LSD accelerated his departure from the group and left him as a recluse until his death in 2006.

Michelle Daniels plays the role of Nancy, a narrator who takes the audience through a trip through Barrett's life as she interviews friends (Edelyn Parker), roadies and neighbors (Billy DePetro), manager (Tom Cardinal), producer (Jim Andes), historians (JT Walker III), critics (Noelle Grandison) and girlfriends (Leah Haviland).

The 13-song set features many of Pink Floyd's classics including "Wish You Were Here," "Have a Cigar," "Another Brick in the Wall," and "Comfortably Numb." True devotees of the band will notice that only one of the songs in the baker's dozen comes from the Barrett era with the band. While Barrett might not have been a part of the band when they were released, the tunes are effectively used to illustrate parts of Barrett's life.

The second act of the show might seem like a scene from one of Barrett's acid trips. It's based on the great Dark Side of the Rainbow urban myth. Supposedly if you sync up the Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album with the film THE WIZARD OF OZ, it produces several moments where the movie and the album correspond with each other. (Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason dismissed any sort of synchronicity between the two. "It's absolute nonsense. (The Dark Side of the Moon) has nothing to do with THE WIZARD OF OZ," he told MTV. "It was all based on THE SOUND OF MUSIC.")

The second act features a track by track listing of the Dark Side of the Moon, with such classics as "Time," "Money" and "The Great Gig in the Sky." Amy Lay (Dorothy), Pearce, Cardinal (Uncle Henry), Walker III (Hunk), Eric Julian Walker (Zeke), Andes (Hickory), Ankrom (Marvel), Parker (Wicked Witch) and Sharla Mills (Glinda) weave together a dreamy landscape as they reinvent THE WIZARD OF OZ with Pink Floyd's music.

With how well Shadowbox has handled Pink Floyd and the Beatles, one can only wonder what else might be on the troupe's play list?

WHICH ONE'S PINK? runs May 17, 20-21, and 31, June 3-4, 7, 10-11, 14, 17-18, 21, 24 and 28, July 5, 8-9,15-16, 22-23, 26, 30 and Aug. 2. Call 614-416-7626 for ticket information.



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From This Author - Paul Batterson