P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
August 27, 2003
Cynthia Hopkins to Perform new Tragi-Comedy Operetta about Amnesia
Laurie Anderson meets Hank Williams meets Freud
(North Adams, Mass.)OBIE award-winner Cynthia Hopkins -- accompanied by popular New York City based-band Gloria Deluxe -- stars in Accidental Nostalgia, an operetta exploring the comedy and tragedy of amnesia. They will present a work-in-progress showing at MASS MoCA on Saturday, September 27, at 8 P.M. The piece unfolds as a story about a woman who suffers from severe memory loss and embarks on an investigation of her own history, only to find it might be better left unremembered.
Hopkins described the process of developing the plotline: "I began to do research about the memory process, the aftereffects of incestuous abuse, and the crossroads where these two areas meet: the 'memory wars' debate over the possibility of the blocking-out and later retrieving repressed memories of traumatic events. With the help of this research, a narrative began to develop."
That narrative involves a neurologist as the lead character investigating the process of memory in an age of ever-increasing sensory input. Using herself as an experimental case study, she accidentally triggers a transformation into an entirely new person, ultimately finding herself at the center of a web of intrigue, suspicion, and finally unexpected glory.
In Accidental Nostalgia, Hopkins follows in the tradition of performance that combines theater and music, to create a uniquely personal style of storytelling. She writes and performs songs which are all original and stylistically unbounded, ranging from Tom Waits' cabaret to Laurie Anderson's storytelling to Hank Williams' country. Hopkins has worked in theater and film with many companies, including GAle GAtes et al., Big Dance Theater, and Tiny Mythic.
Cynthia Hopkins' band, Gloria Deluxe, is a New York City-based band known for its uniquely theatrical concerts. The band has played at the Flea Theater, BAMcafé at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, CB's 313 Gallery, The Knitting Factory, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, and other venues. The group transforms itself effortlessly from a torchy house band in a Berlin lounge to the last act in a Nashville bar and back again. MASS MoCA patrons will remember Hopkins' brilliant opening performance for Patti Smith (which The Albany Times Union called "highly impressive--the band won over scores of new fans." ) and her heroic, and often amusing, accompaniment of the vast Überorgan sculpture in MASS MoCA's football field-sized Building 5 Gallery in 2001.
Funding for Accidental Nostalgia is provided by the Bari Lipp Initiative for Dance and the National Endowment for the Arts and by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts and Meet the Composer, Inc., with additional support from ASCAP, The Virgil Thomson Fund, and the six New England state arts agencies.
Tickets to Accidental Nostalgia are $12 for adults and $8 for students. MASS MoCA members get 10% off. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at www.massmoca.org at any time of day.
The largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country, MASS MoCA is housed on a sprawling 19th-century factory campus. MASS MoCA is located on Marshall Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. MASS MoCA's galleries are open 11- 5, closed Tues-days. For additional information, call 413 662 2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release