Royalty, peasantry, sex, dirt, grandeur and hemophilia.
some tracks from the show (live recording):
"Malloy's score revels in echoes of everything from American and Tuvan cowboy to Prokofiev, Bartók, Kurt Weill, Borodin and Tchaikovsky.
Purists may scoff at some of the details, but Beardo is no history lesson. It's a riff on the Rasputin legend, from the hypnotic sway he exerted and the bouts of drinking and sexual overindulgence to his famously prolonged assassination...Beardo rides high on its impressionistic scenes and Malloy's enticing score. The quintet and Davaran provide expert accompaniment. The voices ring true in every song. And when that large chorus lifts the rafters in sober, a cappella peasant chorale, the effect is nothing less than magic."
"Shotgun Players hits a raucous, ribald, and consistently clever bull's eye with Beardo, the latest from the creators of 2008's Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage. Each detail of this exquisite production — from a pitch-perfect cast to the rich palette employed by composer Dave Malloy to Christine Crook's gorgeously layered, vibrantly crimson-marked costuming — serves an inspired reappraisal of madness and revolution in and beyond the never-named Romanov household..A transcultural mashup of outlaw whimsy, class war, and the banalities of upper-class decadence take flight in some inspired set pieces too fresh to give away here, and a wonderfully orchestrated score.
Composer and musical director Dave Malloy, whose gifts for composition and drama have been growing apace since relocating to New York City,... conjures a very convincing Russian cabaret atmosphere. Doses of Rachmaninoff and other authentic samplings strategically arise amid his brisk Weimar-esque rhythms, lilting melodies, and one fantastic choral arrangement — a startling convergence of roughly 40 "peasants" who suddenly erupt into song."
"Braveheart has nothing on Beardo, the swarthy hero of Shotgun Players' new, bizarre rock musical about a Russian monk who infiltrates the palace of Emporer Nicholas II...Beardo might be the edgiest production ever mounted by Shotgun Players. It's richly salacious and crudely violent...The music, composed by Dave Malloy, is densely lyrical and harmonically jagged."
"Beardo is ambitious, tuneful, and mind-blowingly weird...Every aspect of the production is outstanding, beginning with Patrick Dooley's direction. He creates an atmosphere of freewheeling invention, giving his actors and his technical crew plenty of opportunities to show their stuff. As a result, the show thrums with creative energy. Malloy's eclectic, densely textured score, performed by an excellent string quintet, includes echoes of Tuvan cowboy music, Patsy Cline, and Prince, with a little bit of Borodin and Prokofiev thrown in. He even offers up a surprisingly somber choral piece performed by more than three dozen peasants — a brief interval of serious historical context between the second and third acts."
|PHOTOS by Pak Han: