Lobotomy: The Musical

Jul. 10, 2016
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A Musical Lobotomy

Long before the pharmaceutical industry realized that it could make tremendous amounts of money on psychopharmacology, there had been other attempts to treat the organic end of mental illness. Perhaps the most dramatic was the transorbital lobotomies that were being practiced by American physician Dr. Walter Jackson Freeman II. Dubbed “icepick” lobotomies, the procedures involved inserting a long metal pick into the corner of each eye socket and hammering it through bone in the skull by way of little mallet. This would sever connections to the prefrontal cortex in the frontal lobes of the brain. Evidently they thought of this as therapy back in the 1940s. Having perfected the procedure on numerous patients he traveled the country in his “lobotomobile” performing lobotomies as treatments for patients at mental institutions all over the nation. By the time his career was over, he’d performed over 3,000 lobotomies. 

Perfect subject for musical theatre, right? 

This August we shall see whether or not this is, indeed, the case as Alchemist Theatre presents Lobotomy: The Musical! Featuring “Ramones-y punk rock, a chorus of the mentally insane, and a history lesson or two,” is being put together by Chris Holoyda, who most recently was responsibly for the comic musical Spread The Nudes at the Underground Collaborative. 

Lobotomy: The Musical!  runs Aug. 5 - 13 at the Alchemist Theatre on 2569 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. For more info, visit the Alchemist online.

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