Matt Brown, RoKademY instructor, blogs about the Themla Gaylord Academy’s upcoming production of THEO AND THE MAGIC ROAD.

Just what IS this THEO AND THE MAGIC ROAD nonsense? I don’t get it? Is it a kid’s show? A show FOR kids? A show PERFORMED by kids? Will my kids like it? Will I like it? Will my Grandma like it?

Yes.

THEO AND THE MAGIC ROAD is a Psychedelic Circus-Punk Opera. What’s that? I don’t know…I guess it’s the sound in my head.
For over a decade, I’ve been toying with this idea of writing a modern concept album for people of all ages. I guess it goes back to my Dad’s old LPs… Nilsson’s “The Point”, The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s…” and the like. Concept albums were theatre for the ear. Vivid and colorful tunes, telling a story…I dug it. So…I wanted to make one of those.

That’s sorta what THEO AND THE MAGIC ROAD is…

Rrrrrright.
But WHAT IS IT?

It’s a simple story told though a kaleidescope of trippy tunes, performed by a band of 12-17 year old musicians, singers and actors.
It’s a true rock opera. Very little dialogue. TONS of spaced out music.
The music is not simple. It’s quite complicated.
Longtime bandmate, Nathan Siler created the intricate rock band arrangements based on the songs I wrote.
Some of the music is fun, some is scary, some of it is just plain weird.

Here’s a KEY to help you figure out if THEO is for YOU!

Do you enjoy:

Sunny Pop Tunes? (The Beatles, Harry Nilsson, Elton John)

Trippy Tunes? (Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Radiohead)

Subversive Humor? (The Muppets, They Might  Be Giants, WEEN)

RAWK Tunes? (Motorhead, the Pixies)

Contemplative Pop? (Elliott Smith, Eels, The Carpenters)

Rock Opera? (Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, RENT)

Alright…But…WHAT IS IT???
THEO is the story of a little blue boy born on a pink planet. After being hassled by his schoolmates, he sets off on a quest to find a potion that will make him look just like everyone else…But guess what? It’s gets a little complicated.

Ok…so…
What’s with the Kiddos?

I’ve seen a lot of teenage rock bands.
I’ve seen a lot of teenagers in theatre.
I haven’t seen a lot of teenage bands AS rock theatre.
That’s what RoKademY is.
Rock Theatre.
The students of the RoKademY Experiment Band have spent almost a year workshopping the entire opera.
I felt this was the perfect group of students to give the THEO…story life. The musicianship, the dedication, the PATIENCE of this class is just unreal.
Mounting a rock opera is never easy. Trying to put up a brand new rock opera, with band members as actors and vice versa…well, now that I look at it in print, that just plain BANANAS.
But, guess what? These kids are doing it. And they really rock.
Each students has contributed to the piece in a personal and important way. To see them excited about performing a new work, is such an incredible and fulfilling thing to behold.
These young performers are doing something pretty great.
They aren’t recreating characters that have been around for years and years.
They are creating them! Right now! In front of you! Giving these characters their first ever voice.
And they are doing a terrific job!

I am a lucky RoK class teacher.
You are a lucky audience!

 

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May 26th!!!

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Lyric's A Christmas Carol 2022

November 16, 2022 – December 23, 2022