The Catastrophic Theatre Announces A Revival Of SPEEDING MOTORCYCLE
The Catastrophic Theatre is proud to announce the final production of its 2018-2019 season, a revival of the 2006 hit show Speeding Motorcycle, based on the songs and art of the legendary Daniel Johnston. The revival will be co-directed by Catastrophic founding artistic directors, Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, and reunites much of the original creative team, including arrangements by musical director Anthony Barilla and choreography by Cooper. The play opens June 28 and runs through August 4.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at catastrophictheatre.com or by calling 713-522-2723. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can.
SPEEDING MOTORCYCLE takes audiences deep into the astounding, hilarious, and heartbreaking world of one of America's most compelling cult musicians. The play is about a man named Joe the Boxer, who loses his mind when his true love marries an undertaker, and it includes cameos from characters that feature prominently in Johnston's mythology, including Jeremiah the Frog, Captain America, and Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Daniel Johnston "is one of the best-kept secrets in the history of pop music," says Nodler. Of the original production he says, "So many people that didn't know about Daniel before became almost evangelists for the play and for his music. The show seemed to have a healing power over audiences and artists to the extent that we took to calling it 'vitamins for the soul.' There's nothing better we could do in theatre than to spread the gospel of Daniel Johnston."
The original production received glowing national coverage, including a story in the New York Times music section that ran under the headline "Infernal Bridegroom Has A Hit With Speeding Motorcycle" and noted that the score "ricochets from toe-tapping, feel-good songs to discordant, despairing dirges, a reflection of Mr. Johnston's bipolar disorder." National alt-music magazine No Depression wrote, "In harnessing Johnston's material to action, Nodler has created within the play a visceral sensation of the spiral of mental disorder that moves from the stage to the audience, capturing the bipolar consciousness better than any psychoanalysis could. The by-product is that touch of humanity we all need, and hopefully get, from art... Crowds ranging from hippies to yuppies, avid theatergoers to hardcore clubhoppers had hearts wrung and spirits lifted by a work that featured an enthusiastic, multi-talented cast, brilliant costuming, hilarious sets, riveting renditions of Johnston's songs, and deliciously wacky choreography."
Houston media also raved about the original production. The Houston Chronicle called it "the cult hit of Houston's summer." The Houston Press, which named Speeding Motorcycle the year's "best original show" wrote, "Johnston...writes often of unrequited love, deep despair and death. So it is a strange and altogether wonderful surprise that the story Nodler has constructed out of Johnston's powerful music is nothing if not uplifting. [...] It's a world where death can be a nice place, and unrequited love can cut down to the spine and fill you with satisfying pain all at once."