Georgia Clark's Arts Mixtape
Good For What Ails Ya
Sexy rock 'n' roll vampire musical "The Cure" debuts as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival.
American Theatre of Actors - Chernuchin Theatre. 314 West 54th Street
September 29 – October 11
Tickets $20 Information nymf.org
The cast of The Cure get their game faces on in preparation to prove modern day vampires can be sexy AND sing. Photo by Nick Gaswirth.
In new musical "The Cure," two friends discover the last surviving group of vampires, fall in love with two of them, and are invited to join. But when one of them refuses the offer, he puts his own life in grave danger. We chatted to creator Mark Weisner (book, lyrics, music) about crossing the final frontier – sexy, urban vampires who sing onstage.
Q. From "True Blood" to "Twilight" to "Buffy," vampires are well-covered territory in the 21st century: how does "The Cure" break new ground artistically?
A. For starters, no one has yet figured out how to have vampires sing, and not be laughable. The only place vampires haven't yet been cool, or sexy, or dangerous, is onstage. We hope to tell a modern, urban story, with real emotion, and a roller-coaster thrill ride, that also rocks you through the back wall of the building. These characters are not in some Victorian, antiquated world, but the city you live in.
Q. Tell me how you came to create "The Cure."
A. It's been a long process, which started 12 years ago. I wanted to write a rock-based show that didn't sacrifice the visceral power of the music to tell a cohesive story. I'd always wondered why the rock side of theater seemed to fall short on storytelling and wanted to see if I could do any better.
Q. What sort of other pop culture works "The Cure" in the vein of?
A. This show is heavily influenced by the world of graphic novels. Humanizing the vampire (to borrow a pun...) and exploring what kind of person would choose that life as the best means of extending one's own mortality. In the same way that "The Watchmen" changed the superhero story, I am hoping to present the 200 year old vampire story in a new way. Musically, I am influenced equally by everything from Jonathan Larson to Nine Inch Nails, Diane Warren to Metallica, Boublil/Schoenberg to Holland/Dozier/Holland.
Q. In your opinion, how's the musical theater scene doing nationally and internationally?
A. We're in an exciting time for musicals. The next generation of writers is now staking their claim and bringing a wave of new sounds and influences to the genre. The Broadway garden is being replanted with seeds that will influence the generations to come, to bring their own music to the Great White Way.
Q. The NYMF is referred to as "the Sundance of Musical Theater." How important is this for the Musical Theatre community?
A. Absolutely vital. The current economic climate being what it is, a launching pad like NYMF helps focus the attention of the serious musical theater community to the promising writers and material that will be tomorrow's hits.
Q. What is it about the art form that appeals to you specifically?
A. Growing up as a pop songwriter, I love the challenge of shaping a fuller story across an evening, with a number of songs showing you characters and situations, and giving you a fuller emotional experience. Once you create a musical, writing just another three-minute pop song is never quite as fulfilling again...
Q. Most nerve-racking moment so far?
A. We are now in the guinea pig stage of testing out the vampire teeth on our actors, and letting them act and sing with them. Let me tell you, it's hard to be sexy, menacing and scary when you sound like Alfalfa and Buckwheat from "The Little Rascals."
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