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A Howl from Philip Glass

Skylight Music Theatre presents 'Hydrogen Jukebox'

Mar. 6, 2014
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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.


Theater Happenings

  • The Sunset Limited, described by author Cormac McCarthy as a “novel in dramatic form,” opens with an ex-con saving the life of a suicidal professor in a New York subway. Allegorically named White and Black, the two become steeped in debate within the ex-con’s apartment, discussing matters such as truth, fiction, human nature and belief. Uprooted Theatre will stage the play March 13-23, at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St. For ticket information, visit uprootedmke.com.
  • Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat transports us into an adventure-filled biblical saga. Sold by his jealous brothers, Joseph is taken to Egypt, where we follow his journey from slave to prisoner to Pharaoh’s second in command. Visit sunsetplayhouse.com or call 262-782-4430 for tickets to this vibrant show at Sunset Playhouse’s Furlan Auditorium (800 Elm Grove Road), March 13-April 6.


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