OF SPECTACLES:THE CLAIRVOYANT CABARET, written and directed by Deirdre Broderick,
is a musical variety show about mystic vaudeville. A traveling clairvoyant
show has hit a snag and must replace its star, a celebrity psychic. The show
depicts the auditions and manipulations as three aspirants who bare their
psychic souls and struggle to fill the bill.
The score ranges from broad Gilbert
and Sullivan pastiche to Country to Rocky Horror-styled Rock; the action includes
a seance and feats of mental bravura like reading somebody's past from a
personal object. There is audience interaction. Ms. Broderick appears as
Madame MarieMarie, whose job it is to unlock the door to the afterlife and
unleash an evening of otherworldly entertainment. The musical was written
for the three actor/singers who play the three aspirants, Bill Connington,
Brian P. Glover and Katherine Gooch. The setting by Brian P. Glover resembles,
according to Broderick, "a
turn of the 20th century Burlesque/Vaudeville/Circus/Disco."
Observers to-date have remarked
on the appeal and finesse of the performers and the childlike, innocent charm
of the piece. It's the second La MaMa production with Deirdre Broderick,
a versatile new composer who appeared last season in "Songs for the Stage," a
one-time series for new composers that was held in La MaMa's second-floor
Club space. In this production Broderick, who is also musical director, presides
over a mixture of live and recorded music and performs live on piano and
synthesizer. Choreography is by Bill Connington.
Deirdre Broderick began her composing career
at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with the production of
her first stage musical, "George III Sings!"
A string of short films and theatrical scores followed, including The Lantern
Theater Company of Philadelphia's productions of "Twelfth Night" and
"The Bacchae", and the premiere production of Irish novelist Colum
McCann's "Flaherty's Window" in NYC. Her Elvis-inspired musical spoof,
"Viva Los Alamos.in 3-D", with book writer/lyricist Mike Katinsky,
was produced by Sensurround Productions in Atlanta over the summer of '99 and
remounted in the NYC Fringe Festival 2000. In the dance world, her collaboration
with Paula Josa-Jones Performance Works began in 1995, yielding an American
college tour of "Light and Bone" and a theatrical tour of "Wonderland,"
which premiered at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and toured venues such as The
Majestic in Boston and The Joyce in NYC. Her original children's musical, "The
Perfect Monster", with book by Janine Nina Trevens, premiered April 12,
2002 at Tada Children's Theatre, NYC.
A composing chameleon,
Broderick has written in styles ranging from the dark, atmospheric soundscapes
of "Wonderland", to the play tunes of Corey Lake Pictures' children's
video "Trains", to the twisted cartoon circus-scape of Jack Segal's
"Bunnyman". Adapting to yet another musical style, she fused eastern
and western influences and instruments in her feature-film debut, Krutin Patel's
"ABCD", which opened nationwide November 30, 2001. Her original soundtrack
album is available on the web at www.abcd-themovie.com.
In the spring of 2002, Broderick became associated with the NYC based studio
Harmony 534, where she composes and records for film, television and radio.
Bill Connington plays a man with an interesting
affliction: he mimes dead spirits while chatting normally through an otherwise
ordinary life. He is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic
Arts and The American Center for the Alexander Technique and has taught movement
and Alexander at the Juilliard School, NYU, The American Academy of Dramatic
Arts, and the Actors Studio MFA Program at the New School, where he was the
head of the Alexander department. He co-wrote
"The Alexander Technique" with Judith Leibowitz for Harper Collins.
He has acted in "All Mixed Up Inside My Head", "The Pursuit of
Love, Part II" and the independent films "Lone Star Witness"
and "Louie Gomez". His play, "Lord Byron's Lover", has
been a competition finalist at the O'Neill Theatre Center and Denver Theatre
Brian P. Glover plays the interpreter for
a fortune-telling fish. He started at the Weston Playhouse in Weston VT.
He attended Boston University's School of Fine Art and co-founded the Harbor
Group in Boston. He arrived at La MaMa in 1985 and subsequently performed
there and at Soho Rep, The London Shakespeare Co., and in commercials. In
1989 he directed his own offbeat musical, "Fester and Rot," in The Club
at La MaMa. In L.A., were he studied with Larry Moss and The Groundlings, he
appeared at The Evidence Room, The Groundlings and The Pasadena Ice House. Glover
also worked as a technician for the Japan American Cultural and Community Center
and as a result toured the US as a stage carpenter with the Grand Kabuki Theatre
of Japan. This led him to the Bay Area, where he re-founded The Harbor Group
with Tom Brennen at the O.D.C. Performance Gallery, and to Berkley, where he
worked on productions for Berkley Rep, Mark Morris, Pina Bausch and San Kai
Juku. He directed "Songs for the Stage," which partly featured songs
by Deirdre Broderick, for The Club at La MaMa last season.
Katherine Gooch plays a psychic who channels
dead celebrities through puppets. She is a founding member of Gorilla Rep,
in which she has appeared in numerous productions, including
"Twelfth Night" (Viola), "Cymbeline" (Imogen) and the company's
trademark annual production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Hermia,
Titania, etc.) in Washington Square Park. She has also performed at the WOW
Cafe Theatre and at the Vital Theatre Company. Her most recent appearance was
in "The Big Dip," part of Word of Mouth's "Swim Shorts"
evening wherein, clad in a bright red bathing suit, she floated in a rooftop
pool in midtown Manhattan.