Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music Opens at St. Ann’s Tonight

News   Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music Opens at St. Ann’s Tonight
 
The epic work, told through 240 songs and a series of concerts, charts American history from 1776 to present day.
Taylor Mac
Taylor Mac Dan Norman

St. Ann’s Warehouse kicks off its 2016-17 season September 15 with the world premiere of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Mac’s epic work, told through 240 songs, charts American history from 1776 to present day.

Performed by Mac, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music is set to play through October 8 at the Brooklyn venue. The world premiere culminates five years of development and concert stagings, including presentations at Vassar Powerhouse Theater, Joe’s Pub and New York Live Arts.

The spectacle is billed as a “wildly ambitious durational work.” It is being presented as a series of concerts covering three decades each, with Mac accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra and 76 special guests including burlesque dancers and “toe-tapping Tiny Tims.“

One musician is scheduled to exit after each decade, until Mac is left to perform the final decade—comprising original songs, as part of the final three-hour concert, 1986-2016 (on October 3)—alone. For one-time-only, Mac will also present a non-stop, 24-hour marathon performance covering the entire period October 8, marking the first time that the work will be performed continuously.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music was created by Mac in collaboration with Matt Ray, who has arranged the show’s 246 songs and leads the 24-member orchestra and four backup singers. Mac’s intricate costumes are by Machine Dazzle; Niegel Smith co-directs; Jocelyn Clarke is dramaturg; set design is by Mimi Lien; and lighting design is by John Torres.

The creative team also includes sound designers Jamie McElhinney and David Schnirman/Hear No Evil Inc.; and makeup designer Anastasia Durasova. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder of Urban Bush Women, serves as choreographic consultant.

For tickets and a full schedule of the concerts, visit StannsWarehouse.org, call (718) 254-8779 and (866) 811-4111. The new St. Ann’s Warehouse is located at 45 Water Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

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