P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
July 10, 2001
Obie Award-Winner Rinde Eckert Brings Innovative Opera to MASS MoCA
Desperately fighting his disease Nathan is forced to rely on a tape recorder hung around his neck, each day pressing "Play" and hearing yesterday's instructions to himself: "Your name is Nathan. You are suffering from memory loss..." His only other help is a hot-blooded muse played by Nora Cole whom his recorder tells him is only in his mind, yet he is compelled to trust her. As his faculties irrevocably diminish, Nathan is forced into a race against time, struggling through waves of confusion not only for the notes of his opera, but for his mind itself.
The work's off-Broadway run was acclaimed throughout New York. The New York Times called it "a Moby Dick to make all opera funny," while The Village Voice said it combined "all the best features of the theater and opera and was filled with beauty and humor and surprise and art." Theater critic David Spencer proclaimed, "Understand how profoundly I mean it when I tell you that a small, low-profile off-off Broadway entry that conforms to no neat categorization, nor established philosophies and principles, quietly rocked me to my very core with the depth and breadth of its originality and uniqueness. It's called And God Created Great Whales, it's not like anything else that ever existed, it deserves a much longer life than its limited off-off Broadway run, and if you miss it, you'll be shy one lifetime-worthy theatrical memory."
Rinde Eckert is an internationally celebrated composer, writer, singer, and performer whose music and dance theater pieces are seen throughout the United States and abroad including the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and The Public Theater in New York. Much of his work has been translated into both German and Czech versions. He has collaborated with Steven Mackey, Paul Dresher, and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, among others, and was commissioned by the New York Shakespeare Festival to create a one-man Romeo and Juliet called Romeo Sierra Tango.
Nora Cole has been seen on Broadway in the revival of On The Town and in Jelly's Last Jam, opposite Gregory Hines, among other credits. "The presence, the voice, and the energy that have made her a star on Broadway can be seductive and threatening at once in a small room," according to The New York Times, "There are depths in her voice in dark moments that haunt the ear for hours." David Schweizer has worked with an array of off-Broadway houses including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and New York Theater Workshop. He made his debut at the Lincoln Center in the early 1970s. He has directed premieres of plays by Sam Shepard, Albert Innaurato, and Michael Weller among others. Recent productions include Austin Pendelton's Booth, The Waiting Room at the Vineyard, and Charles Mee Jr.'s Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador. Schweizer's production of Sandra Tsing Loh's Aliens in America was a sellout hit at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles and subsequently moved to Seattle Rep.
In addition to the performance, David Schweizer will participate in an informal pre-curtain talk and look behind the scenes at this revolutionary theatrical piece on Saturday, August 11, at 6 P.M. Tickets for the talk are $5.
Tickets for And God Created Great Whales are $20. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the Box Office at MASS MoCA located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release