Culturebot Says: Don’t Miss MATERIAL WORLD!

Last Friday night I saw Dan Fishback’s THE MATERIAL WORLD, directed by Stephen Brackett at Dixon Place. SO GOOD!!! Quite possibly the best new musical I have seen come from downtown in a decade, maybe longer. I got some flack from some friends for my support and enthusiasm for February House, but those same people totally agreed with me on this one.

This is the kind of show that makes you proud to be a part of our little downtown community. I remember seeing Dan do his solo show “Boi With An I” at Collective Unconscious quite a few years ago. I remember meeting Stephen when he was directing madcap early sketches byRachel Shukert. I have had the pleasure of watching them both grow, independently and together, over the years, and working with them a little bit in different capacities. They embody the can-do spirit that makes our little corner of the world keep going in the face of adversity. Dan’s commitment to his politics and to growing and changing and always pushing himself as an artist has led him to a really exciting place. Uch, such “naches” I feel for these two. MATERIAL WORLD is challenging, entertaining, smart, fun, edgy and accessible in all the right ways. The fact that they have made an ever-so-slightly surreal, hilarious and catchy musical that is also a powerful meditation on the nature of revolution, the desire to create change in the world, an exegesis of the various meanings and implications of the word “material” in relation to our world (and “HaOlam Habah”) is just astonishing. Think Tony Kushner smart with great musical numbers and lots of laughs.  The actors are all amazing and Fishback et al have single-handedly, possibly, given hope to the vanishing world of Yiddish Theater. If Folksbiene doesn’t commission Fishback soon, that would be unfortunate. But for sure – someone should produce the hell out of this thing. Don’t miss!!! Just four more shows – July 27 & 28 @ 7PM and EXTENDED EXTRA SHOWS August 1 & 2 @ 8PM. Don’t believe me? Here’s what other folks say:

“Best downtown musical I have seen in years.” – Time Out New York
“Thoughtful musicals like this one would be on Broadway instead of Spider-Man — until then, let’s be glad Dixon Place is around.” – Village Voice


Dixon Place and Brooklyn Arts Exchange present

The World Premiere of Dan Fishback’s
Music, lyrics, and book by Dan Fishback
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Starring Cole Escola, Eleanor Reissa, Molly Pope, Amy Gironda, Megan Stern, Lisa Clair, Leo Schaff

The Material World features an anachronistic cast of neurotic Jews, all trying to save the planet. Gittel Fenster (Megan Stern), a 12-year-old radical socialist, studies Marxism to prepare for global anti-capitalist revolt, while gay nerd Ian Fleishman (Escola) tests the revolutionary power of Facebook, and the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna (Amy Gironda) mediates on secret Kabbalistic codes to fix a broken universe. The characters grapple with their lofty ambitions and their capacity for failure, to an eclectic score of bouncy electro dance pop, ramshackle twee-folk and classic Tin Pan Alley. And unlike other pop musicals about Madonna and socialism, this play has scenes in Yiddish. The second installment of “The Ian Fleishman Trilogy,” and a sequel to the 2009 erotic Chanukah comedy You Will Experience Silence, The Material World continues Fishback’s exploration of Jewish political neurosis. This soulful musical brings surprising tenderness, humor, and ferocious diva realness to the most depressing political realities.

July 27 & 28 @ 7PM
Wednesday August 1 & Thursday August 2 @ 8PM
Dixon Place / 161A Chrystie Street / New York, NY 10002
Tickets: Advance online: $15 GA / $12 students-seniors / $18 at door

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