He was a drunk, a manipulator and a serial seducer. His influence may have hastened regime change. Apparently, he smelled of goats. A mystical adviser to Czar Nicholas II and assassinated years ago, Rasputin made headlines more recently when opinion writers likened him to Stephen K. Bannon nor Rasputin would probably find flattering. Extricating himself with the help of a peasant, he soon sets out for St. It works.
I found it an apt description of the Russian indie rock show now playing at the extraordinarily beautiful and fully operational St. John's Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. If you've been lucky enough to see Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet of , you're familiar with Malloy's particular brand of music and theatre-making. Part riff on Rasputin, part multi-musical genre journey --Beardo chronicles the strange, albeit fictionalized, life of Rasputin. Grigori Rasputin was known for many things: his mystic powers, his role as advisor to Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his wife, Czarina Alexandra in the early 's, his ability to influence some of St. Petersburg's prestigious aristocrats, the ire that invoked in everyone else, and lest we forget, his sexual escapades and dismemberment of his genitalia upon his assassination. Now picture that in musical form. Makes about as much sense as the first seventy pages of "War and Peace" as a musical, right?
Described as a musical about "royalty, peasantry, sex, dirt, grandeur, and hemophilia" the rock musical takes a closer look at the infamous Rasputin, a mystic with an insatiable sex drive who became friends with the Russian Tsar and his wife and was ultimately assassinated. But now, home audiences can check out the original production on Vimeo for the next two weeks. Beardo from Shotgun Players on Vimeo. Dave Malloy Marc J.
The book and lyrics by Jason Craig are playful, sometimes clever, silly, ribald, deliberately anachronistic, joyfully shocking and in-your-face weird. They are too accomplished to be labeled juvenile…. Beardo soon beds her, calms her sickly son, and gains the confidence of the shy Tsar; he also becomes a prolific womanizer. All of this wins him the ire of all of Russia, aristocrats and peasantry alike. Director Ellie Heyman keeps the eight-member cast in motion, climbing up and down the scaffolding inside the church I wondered whether this was set up specifically for the show, or whether St. It is melodic, with beautiful harmonizing, and however one may quibble with the lyrics , deeply stirring. The second moment begins ludicrously — two hefty men appear in tutus Andre and Ben Langhorst. But they turn out to be two of the three assassins the third is that count, Yusapoof, portrayed with appropriate villainy by Brian Bock. Incredily, the three non-dancers in silly costumes turn a mock Russian ballet into both beautiful and chilling. How they accomplish this is almost as mystical as the sway that the infamous Mad Monk had on the last of the Romanovs.