Duncan Sheik is still knee-deep in theater projects. The Tony-winning composer is getting ready to mount the first staged production of his new musical The Nightingale this June in San Diego, he’s still polishing away at the musical version of American Psycho, and he’s also trying to get the much-anticipated film version of Spring Awakening off the ground. Yet while the stage calls, Sheik is taking some time to focus on his music career. Sheik is co-headlining a concert tour with Suzanne Vega (most widely known for “Tom’s Diner”), which will play New York’s Highline Ballroom on April 25 and 26. Sheik phoned Stage Rush on the drive to his first rehearsal for the tour to chat about how American Psycho is influencing his next solo album, Spring Awakening going the indie film route, and why he’s wanted to dodge his biggest hit, “Barely Breathing,” for so long.
How did this collaboration with Suzanne Vega come about?
We’ve known each other for a really long time because we’re both practicing Buddhists. We knew each other through those circles and we’d see each other at various places when we’d be touring for our records. For a long time, Suzanne had this idea about writing a show where she would play Carson McCullers and perform these songs that were inspired by her writing. Suzanne’s daughter is a huge fan of Spring Awakening, so Suzanne thought that since I’ve done the theater thing before, she’d call me up. We ended up writing a score for this piece together. She performed it a year ago at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and she’s been performing a few of the songs in her concerts since then. So we decided to do this co-headlining tour. Read more
Daily Bugle News Flash! Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is not the best musical ever written. However, the venomous reviews and general bad press seem to be overshadowing the aspects that director Julie Taymor and her creative team have gotten right. Here are five reasons why Spider-Man is worth the money.
1. Flying: This is the spectacle that the show rests on, and it is something to be seen. Aerial designers Scott Rogers and Jaque Paquin succeeded in making me feel like a little kid again, yearning for the ability to fly. I’m sure I wasn’t the only gaping-mouthed patron who was left insanely jealous of the actors that got to perform the aerial stunts. Despite very-visible cables (synthetic spider silk hasn’t been successfully manufactured in large quantities yet), Spidey and Green Goblin slingshot around the Foxwoods Theatre with shocking fluidity. They even reach every side of the two mezzanines, so that no audience block is left out of the action.
2. Sets: Scenic designer George Tsypin’s has created a cartoonish, sometimes whimsical world for Peter Parker and his enemies. But Tsypin’s real achievement with his designs is with the unique use of angles and perspective. We’re treated to two views of New York’s famous Chrysler Building: a standard tip-of, head-on shot and then a mind-bending aerial view, gazing down to the taxi-lined streets below. The Brooklyn Bridge juts out toward the audience with a dizzying height illusion. Climactic-moment scenes aside, Tsypin even turns a ho-hum stroll for Peter (Reeve Carney) and Mary Jane (Jennifer Damiano) to their Queens row homes into a direction-shifting stunner. Read more