What happens when the music of an indie rock band collides with a story about Marie Antoinette and a time traveling hot air balloon? A musical? You can’t be serious. Believe it.
Over the course of the following week, 7½ Cents will be guiding readers through an in-depth look at the new musical On the Eve and its road to San Diego State University (SDSU) where it will receive a reading on November 19, 2015 in conjunction with La Jolla Playhouse. With music and lyrics by Seth Magill and Shawn Magill and book by Michael Federico, this quirky show gleefully bends the rules of musical theatre.
Today’s post includes the 411. Creators Seth and Shawn Magill are a husband and wife duo who front the Dallas-based band Home By Hovercraft. The sound of the show is a direct reflection of the band’s indie rock sound, and this is precisely why On the Eve has generated such buzz around it at both the 2014 Dallas production and the very recent reading at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) conference in Oct. 2015. Click the links throughout the post to direct you to more information.
Though the score is partly interpolation of previously written songs, partly new songs for the piece, and partly brand-new material since the NAMT reading, much of the On the Eve score can be heard on Home By Hovercraft’s LP Are We Chameleons? At first blush, Home By Hovercraft has a sound akin to Vampire Weekend with repetitive musical patterns, clever instrumentation, and poetic—if non-linear, non-storytelling—lyrics. The opening number serves as a good taste of On the Eve. It also features step dancing by Seth’s sister Abbey Magill, a sound which represents the coming of the revolution.
Future posts will include a thorough look at the musical score, a recap of the first week of staging rehearsals of the SDSU reading, a discussion on the tightly wrapped metaphors around Michael Federico’s book, and a glimpse into the potential future of the piece. Readers should feel free to send questions or comment below, as updates will be happening daily.
In the meantime, have a gander at the Home By Hovercraft homepage or browse the official website for On the Eve.
Read PART 2 in the series exploring the music On the Eve here.
ON THE EVE SDSU Workshop
Musical Director—Robert Meffe
Talking Man/Captain Boulder—Randall Eames
Joseph—Bradley J. Behrmann
Chase Spacegrove—Kikau Alvaro
Statue/Clio—Liv Stevns Petersen
Bureaucrat/Dr. Scientist/Mother—Julia Cuppy
Young Marie/Young Antoinette—Amy Perkins
Stage Manager—Stephanie Kwik
Assistant Stage Manager—Aimee Holland
Lighting Desiger—Walter Lopez