South Philly is a hub of theatrical activity this weekend as the Fringe Fest wraps-up. Check out Joseph Myer’s Three to see in South Philly.
Myers also spoke with Rosemary Hay, one of REV Theatre Company’s artistic directors, about the group’s upcoming Fringe Festival show at Ulana’s, 205 Bainbridge Street. She was eager to share how this hour-long show aligns itself with the company’s artistic vision.
Joseph Myers for Passyunk Post: The Fringe website describes NecroPhillyAhhh: A FUNeral Cabaret as “a cabaret unlike anything you’ve seen before with wild, mysterious, haunting, wickedly funny, macabre entertainment.” What a way to sell yourself! How have you been fulfilling that promise, and what can viewers expect when attending this weekend’s shows?
Rosemary Hay: There is no narrative per se, so the characters live through the experiences of the songs, and, therefore, there’s a deep sense of mystery about them. Characters are archetypal – the Woman in Black is haunting (and haunted), has seen and done it all. The little girl in white, seemingly innocent, is dangerous and dark. The Man is sexually provocative and uninhibited. The piece is visually compelling and of course the music changes the mood with every song. Audience interaction is witty and fun! So audiences can expect a roller coaster of a ride!
PP: REV’s social media manager Joe Kinnon said that this show “will delight Philadelphia’s ghoulishly inclined” individuals. What is the thrill of catering so such souls for Fringe and overall?
RH: We love bringing the Cabaret to ghoulishly inclined folks, including Goth and Steampunk fans, but we’ve found that adventurous theatre-goers, especially at the Fringe, come out for this. A lot of people want to have the unique experience of songs about death in a very intimate cabaret setting.
PP: How did you go about composing “NecroPhillyAhhh” and how does the end result fit with your identity?
RH: The piece began/begins with the music of course – we are committed to using death-centric songs (murder, suicide included) and also songs that are shared in a non-literal way – psychic death and loss of love. All songs are arranged in an exhilarating, revelatory way by our superb music director, Rob Borchert. Our identity as a company is very much about revving up and re imagining “the old” whether it’s classic plays or songs and making these works new and fresh and compelling and highly
PP: How did you select your venue?
RH: The show has been re-invented specifically for Ulana’s and works beautifully and organically. We use every part of the space, including an upper level which creates marvelous moments of performers appearing and disappearing unexpectedly. So we’ve created a funeral/wake – complete with a coffin as a centerpiece – as a nightclub event (there’s a bar of course!). The juxtaposition of club and funeral creates a powerful dynamic.