Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Simplest Things: PigPen Theatre Co.'s THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON

We often walk a fine line on this blog between a musical and a play with music. Hell, throw in opera, musical spoofs, song cycles, etc. and the genre is just too hard to fit in a box. Last night, I had the privilege of seeing The Old Man and The Old Moon, the latest offering from PigPen Theatre Company, a collection of seven young actor/musicians/writers/composers (gahh, again with the blending of the categories) who developed their unique aesthetic and development process while in school together at Carnegie Mellon. They've gained some traction around the city having won top prize at The Fringe twice now, but The Old Man and The Old Moon represents their first full-length production now playing at The Gym at Judson.


I can't go into great detail, since my friend, Erin Salvi, and I will be discussing the show in the next episode of our podcast (which you should all check out on Crazytown-- the new episode will be up next Wednesday). However, I will say this: this show is a magical display of storytelling-- an exemplary work of perhaps the oldest oral traditions while guided by an expert hand that makes them feel new and surprising. Most importantly, I think, in the context of this blog, the musical elements that PigPen adds to their shows is really essential and beautiful. With a folksy score that fits the epic action and fable-like adventure like a glove, this is an example of how play-like a musical can be and musical a play can be. For your viewing pleasure, I'm posting some videos of some songs from the company below. Please go check out their website, see The Old Man and The Old Moon (then we can discuss!), and look out for our podcast.

(The company's first animated short, Bremen, which is also an introduction
to the epic world of The Old Man and The Old Moon.)

(Song "As Lonely As Me" from their debut album, "Bremen")

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