Director Tom O'Horgan, the theatrical force of nature who helped articulate a generation's voice with Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, is helming the New York City workshop of a new musical called SOULS.com, representing a new generation's voice.
The Sept. 16-18 workshop presentations (at La MaMa ETC Annex, 74 E. 4th Street between Bowery and Second Ave.) offer a link to the O'Horgan past: The show by Jan Quackenbush (book) and J. Vincent Edwards (music and lyrics) tells of a teenager who is pulled, like Alice in Wonderland, into the Internet in a way that helps solve the crises in his family, led by a former hippie rocker still scarred by the past.
The idea is by Edwards, who wrote the hit song, "Right Back Where We Started From," and is described as "a story that bridges the gap between the peace-and-love sixties and the high-tech nineties by blending 'cosmic' consciousness, great rock 'n' roll music and the powerful magic of the Internet."
In the three industry-only presentations, 3 PM Sept. 16 and 7 PM Sept. 17 18, teen-age Billy is pulled into the magic Internet world where he meets his Uncle Harry, a gentle 1960s hippie who becomes a spirit guide, pointing out the differences between then and now. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and Marvin Gaye are met along the way (at least their souls.com are met) and "inspire and instruct" Billy "through music and examples of their own lives."
The workshop is general-managed by Marvin A. Krauss, produced by LaMaMa ETC. In association with Angel Productions Inc. Musical director is Alki Steriopoulos (onetime composer-in-resident at LaMaMa), set designer is Michael Hotopp.
In the 1970s, director O'Horgan had four shows on Broadway (Hair, Lenny, Jesus Christ Superstar and Inner City). He directed worksby Lanford Wilson, Sam Shepard, Rochelle Owens, Paul Foster, plus revivals and operas.
For information about the industry-only workshop, call (212) 382-3410 Ext. 31.
-- By Kenneth Jones