13 December 2010
Boojum! in Chicago
Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith's musical Boojum! Nonsense, Truth and Lewis Carroll is currently being performed to enthusiastic audiences in Chicago. A co-production of the Chicago Opera Vanguard and Caffeine Theater, Boojum! will be performed 23 times in all. Boojum! has been receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews by the local media and theatre bloggers alike.
Chicago Time Out's Kris Vire wrote: 'The deceptively complex score ranges from operatic trills to inverted nursery rhymes to suggestions of doo-wop and blues, impeccably realized by music directors Andra Velis Simon and Myron Silberstein and a terrific ensemble (led by Michael Reyes's rich baritone). The brothers' book smartly lifts themes from Carroll's work, such as Through the Looking-Glass's chess motif, in its compelling examination of Dodgson's fractured and recurring motives. Boojum! makes Carroll's unimaginable nonsense unimaginably human.'
Chicago Tribune's Kerry Reid described Boojum! as a 'beguiling and befuddling chamber musical', with a score 'ranging from music-hall ditties to operatic arias, with stops along the way for the blues'. Hedy Weiss of The Chicago Sun-Times characterised it as 'a zesty hybrid of cabaret theater and contemporary opera, with a book and score by Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith, two immensely talented brothers based in Australia'.
The Chicago season of Boojum! ends on 19 December.
Martin Wesley-Smith -
Boojum! music resource kit for secondary schools (AMC)
Martin Wesley-Smith - homepage and Boojum! web page
Chicago Time Out review
Chicago Tribune review
Chicago Opera Vanguard
© Australian Music Centre (2010) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.
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