The Talking Band, a theatre company which produces original interdisciplinary works, will present Star Messengers at La MaMa E.T.C. Dec. 2-16. Star Messengers is a brand new theatre piece written by the Artistic Director of The Talking Band, Paul Zimet, and composed by Ellen Maddow. The piece, which includes numerous genres ranging from opera to commedia dell'arte to contemporary dance/theatre, concerns the lives of Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler, two significant and well-known scientists who altered our outlook on the universe.
Galileo, portrayed in Star Messengers by William Badgett, is best known for his discovery that the earth moved around the sun, while Kepler (David Greenspan) concluded that the planets moved in elliptical paths, as opposed to in perfect circles. Another prominent scientist, Tycho Brahe, is also featured in Star Messengers. Brahe, Kepler's mentor, was called the greatest naked-eye observer of the heavens. Brahe will be played by Court Dorsey. These three brilliant historical men will be accompanied by Simplicio, Sagredo, and Salviati, three commedia characters. Galileo created the characters himself to assist in making his theories understandable and more popular.
Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow were awarded the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theater for Star Messengers. Zimet and Maddow founded The Talking Band in 1974, along with Tina Shepard. Since then, the theatre company has created and staged a total of 31 productions. The company collaborates with poets, musicians, and designers to produce theatrical works with a wide range of visual imagery and musical expression.
In addition to writing Star Messengers, Paul Zimet will also serve as director. The ensemble cast includes Christine Ciccone, Ryan Dietz, Marcy Jellison, Karinne Keithley, Ellen Maddow, Randy Reyes, and Michelle Rios.
Performances of Star Messengers are Wednesdays through Sundays at 7:30 PM, with Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM. Preview performances begin Nov. 30 with an opening set for Dec. 2. Call (212) 475-7710 for tickets. All tickets are $15. LaMaMa E.T.C. Is located at 74A East 4th Street in Manhattan. - by Chris Reichheld