A Howl from Philip Glass
Skylight Music Theatre presents 'Hydrogen Jukebox'
Mar. 6, 2014
Hydrogen Jukebox begins with a repeated note, sounding over and over like a warning alarm in a nightmare, as a melody’s shadow passes beneath the poetry of Allen Ginsberg sung by a soloist. Its name derived from a line in Ginsberg’s “Howl” (“listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox”), the collaboration between the poet and composer Philip Glass debuted as a chamber opera in 1990. Grounded in the writers’ shared devotion to Buddhism, Hydrogen Jukebox was conceived around six voices representing characteristic figures in American life confronted by war and environmental disaster as well as the potential of consciousness-altering drugs and the sexual revolution. According to director Ted Huffman, the prominent video projections employed for the upcoming Milwaukee production represent Ginsberg’s “many places and states of mind” and will not be mere backdrops. Instead, the cast will interact with the imagery during the “constant flux” of the episodic story.
Skylight Music Theatre presents Hydrogen Jukebox March 14-30, at the Broadway Theatre Center’s Cabot Theatre, 158 N. Broadway. For tickets, call 414-291-7800 or visit skylightmusictheatre.org.
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