Black Rider
- The Casting of the Magic Bullets
- Theatre





 

 

M2OH Role: Kätchen

The Los Angeles Ahmanson Theatre will be staging performances of The Black Rider from April 22 to June 11, 2006.


American Conservatory Theatre presents Robert Wilson, Tom Waits and the late William S. Burroughs' extraordinary musical fable The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets

The Black Rider is amazingly unclassifiable and falls more in line with avant guard German expressionistic films of the '20s like the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The three major contributors have tapped into two centuries of German art to produce this "opera." Some may rather call it a "rock opera," although many of the songs have an early Kurt Weill feel about them. The "opera" draws on the 1810 story Der Freischutz by August Apel and Friedrich Laun, which was based on a 17th century ghost story. Later, Der Freischutz was turned into an opera by Karl Maria Von Weber and is still performed in Europe today.

The Black Rider was first presented in Germany in 1990 by the Thalia Theatre of Hamburg. The piece was first performed in the States at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the New York Times said it was "one of the most persistently insinuating and affective musical works of the recent season." The London Daily Telegraph called it "an extraordinary piece of music theatre ... enough to make the cool drool."

The plot centers on Wilhelm (Matt McGrath), an intellectual young clerk who must learn to hunt in order to marry his true love, a woodsman's daughter, Kathchen (Mary Margaret O'Hara). He strikes a deal with the devil incarnate (Marianne Faithfull) for magic bullets that never miss their mark. However, in this production, nothing is what it seems; the devil sings, animals talk, the walls becomes woods and bullets have minds of their own. In fact, the plot does not really matter as the visuals create an amazing tableaux.

Matt McGrath (Emcee on Broadway in Cabaret, plus New York productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Hedwig and the Angry Inch) gives a sterling performance as Wilhelm. His movements are graceful and he gets that raspy voice of Tom Waits in several of the songs. Marianne Faithfull is good as Pegleg and she has a speaking/singing voice that is reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich. Canadian singer Mary Margaret O'Hara has a sublime voice and her movements are exquisite. Jack Willis (has appeared in over 150 productions in the US and associate artist of the Arena Stage in Washington D.C.) dominates the stage every time he appears with his booming Shakespearian voice.

The Barbican Centre May 17th to June 19th 2004. San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater August 26th to September 26th, 2004
T the Sydney Festival in January 2005.


Credits

Direction, Set, and Lighting by Robert Wilson
Music and Lyrics by Tom Waits
Text by William S. Burroughs
Original Musical Arrangements by Greg Cohen and Tom Waits
Dramaturgy by Wolfgang Wiens
Produced by BITE:04, Barbican, London, and Cultural Industry
Co-produced by A.C.T. and Sydney Festival
In association with The Black Rider Circle

Starring: Marianne Faithfull and Matt McGrath
With: Jack Willis, Monika Tahal, Gabriella Santinelli, Nigel Richards, Richard Strange, Sona Cervena, Jake Thornton, Janet Henfrey, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Dean Robinson
Costume Design: Frida Pareggiani

 

M2OH music on the soundtrack include:
 
All photographs by Sophie Giraud. © Black Moonlight Productions 2005 Suggestions and links are welcomed.
contact. Please note that Ms. O'Hara is in no way involved in this site and cannot be contacted through this site. thanks.