By Adam Hetrick
and Andrew Gans
10 Feb 2014
|Photo by Erin Baiano|
Stop Hitting Yourself, which was created by Rude Mechs, the Austin, TX-based theatre collective, opened at the Claire Tow Theater Jan. 27. It is written by Kirk Lynn and directed by Shawn Sides. Performances continue through Feb. 23.
As part of the 9:30 PM concert, composer/bandleader Reynolds will discuss the creation of the music for the play, which is described as "part Busby Berkeley, part self-help lexicon." The evening is hosted by Rebecca Havemeyer.
Reynolds recently scored "Before Midnight" (featuring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) and "Bernie" (featuring Jack Black), and his "A Scanner Darkly" score was named Best Soundtrack of the Decade by Cinema Retro magazine. Reynolds creates, performs and records music for film, theatre, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater to DJ Spooky to Ballet Austin.
Here's how the 90-minute production is billed: "Part Pygmalion, part Busby Berkeley, part self-help lexicon, Stop Hitting Yourself borrows from the plots of 1930's musicals to dig deep into the contemporary conservative dilemma: how to honor steely individualism without disavowing the virtue of charity -- all the while tap-dancing around a queso fountain.
"Once a year, at the Charity Ball, a single worthy cause is chosen to benefit from the Queen’s Annual Good Deed. Prominent families compete to find citizens deserving of assistance. This year, a Socialite has discovered a Wildman in the forest and tries to improve him. The Wildman’s desire to save the natural world and usher in an era of love and harmony is a sure-winner. Now the Socialite must teach him how to eat, dance and behave in society so that his cause can be victorious."