Todd Almond’s music is terrifically nimble
— Claudia La Rocco on Almond's "The Tempest", The New York Times
— Robert Hurwitt on Almond's "Girlfriend", San Francisco Chronicle
*Please note for all sold out performances of Kansas City Choir Boy there is a possibility of no shows and cancellations. The wait list will start 2 hours prior to curtain for each performance.
KANSAS CITY CHOIR BOY is a theatricalized concept album about love altered by unexpected fate. A mystery told through flashbacks, the show tells the story of two lovers in small town America who separate when one goes in search of destiny and then disappears. Borrowing themes from ancient myth, the show features songs by acclaimed composer/lyricist Todd Almond performed by rock icon Courtney Love and Mr. Almond. They are joined by a chorus of sirens, and musicians from Contemporaneous Ensemble. Directed by Kevin Newbury, Kansas City Choir Boy is a love song for the computer age and a product of the 24-hour news cycle that feeds on the stories of the anonymous “missing.”
Music and Lyrics by Todd Almond
Directed by Kevin Newbury
Performed by Todd Almond, Courtney Love, and musicians from Contemporaneous
Musical Direction by David Bloom
Choreographed by Sam Pinkleton
Set Design by Vita Tzykun and Clark Parkan
Lighting Design by DM Wood
Video & Projection Design by Darrel Maloney
Costume Design by Paul Carey
Sound Design by Brandon Wolcott
Photos by MEENO
Show Run Time: 60 minutes
TODD ALMOND is a composer, lyricist and playwright. For The Public, he wrote the music and performed as Ariel for last season’s free Public Works production of The Tempest at the Delacorte Theater. His musicals include Girlfriend (Berkeley Rep., and Actors Theatre of Louisville, with songwriter Matthew Sweet, directed by Les Waters); Melancholy Play (13P, with playwright Sarah Ruhl, directed by Davis McCallum); We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Yale Repertory Theater, with playwright Adam Bock, directed by Anne Kauffman); On The Levee (LCT3, directed by Lear deBessonet); The Odyssey (The Old Globe, dir: Lear deBessonet) and Iowa (Playwrights Horizons, 2015, with playwright Jenny Schwartz, directed Ken Rus Schmoll). Almond music-directed and arranged Sherie Rene Scott's hit show Piece of Meat (54 Below and Hippodrome in London) and can be heard on Laura Benanti's live album In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. He has released two solo albums: Mexico City and Memorial Day.
KEVIN NEWBURY is a theatre, opera and film director based in New York City. Recent opera credits include the world premieres of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (San Francisco Opera), Oscar (Santa Fe Opera), Doubt (Minnesota Opera) and Paul's Case (Urban Arias and Prototype Festival). Other recent opera credits include Anna Bolena (Minnesota Opera), Maria Stuarda (Houston Grand Opera, Minnestoa Opera), Die Liebe der Danae (Bard Summerscape), Roberto Devereux (L'Opera de Montreal, Minnesota Opera), Falstaff and the world premiere of Life is a Dream (Santa Fe Opera), Galileo Gallilei (Portland Opera), Werther (Minnesota Opera), Virgina (Wexford Opera Festival; Winner Irish Times Award for Best Opera Production), I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Lyric Opera of Kansas City, with Joyce Di Donato), Eugene Onegin (Opera Theatre of St. Louis), El Niño (San Francisco Symphony, conducted by John Adams), Rappahannock County (world premiere; Virginia Arts Festival, National Tour), La Cenerentola (Glimmerglass Opera), Bernstein's Mass (Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center; Grammy nomination), Oceanic Verses (world premiere, Kennedy Center, River-to-River, NYC). New York theater credits include Candy and Dorothy (GLAAD Winner: Best Play, Drama Desk Nominee), The Second Tosca and Kiss and Cry (GLAAD Nominee). Upcoming projects include the world premieres of The Manchurian Candidate (Minnesota Opera) and Bel Canto (Lyric Opera of Chicago), and new productions of Euryanthe (Bard Summerscape), Don Bucefalo (Wexford Opera Festival), Norma (San Francisco Opera, Barcelona Liceu), Candide (Baltimore Symphony, with Patti Lupone), Bernstein's Mass (Philadephia Orchestra), Oscar (Philadelphia Opera) and Anna Bolena (Lyric Opera of Chicago). Kevin's first film, the short Monsura is Waiting, is currently screening at film festivals around the country and has won several awards and in August, 2014, he begins production on his second film, Stag.
I started writing Kansas City Choir Boy in a lonely hotel room in Kansas City. I didn't know what I was writing at the time, but it involved images of intense romance (I'd seen, through a train window, a quirky Midwestern couple making out on a platform and it was so great!), missing girls (I'd seen, on my hotel television, a series of news reports about missing local girls), and mythology (I'd seen, on my computer, the photo of a girl as Athena from a piece I'd written a few years back). All of this was somehow turning into songs I was writing on Garage Band. I didn't have even a midi-keyboard with me, just my laptop, so the tracks I made were crude and, I thought, exciting. So I just kept following the impulses and developed some of the themes and turned it into a story, but always remained interested in the original impulse, which was single-image based without a lot of context, so I was hesitant to try to make the story too complex or layered. It seemed like a long-form music video for the stage when I thought about it. That's what Kansas City Choir Boy is.