The music has been expanded since Austria, and more narration added in that gasbag Erling Phd style, taking the hand of, and leading, the audience through the maze of Kharms and the OBERIU, their rise and fall, laughter and death.
Once again I get to work with the incomparable Jim Cave as the director, a thought that even now chills me - Oh I shiver and cry. My wife, the most talented and beautiful Lynne Rutter, is putting together the scenic elements and telling me now what colors I may next paint my nails (black, white, red, with some blue and yellow, primary colors, bright, with occasional occurrence of acid green or bright orange in small amounts acceptable), and Laura Hazlett is costuming us all once again - squee. And I can't forget that Bryan Nies, the glue that held together the revival of Queer and assembled Certitude and Joy, is conducting.
The cast includes my number one son Duncan Wold (thanks to Mission Control); my long-time partner in music and surrogate daughter Laura Bohn; the talented Nikola Printz, who I just saw in Rossini's Italian Girl of Algiers at San Jose, an opera that is bizarre and incomprehensible to someone like me for whom old-fashioned opera is Lulu, Einstein on the Beach and Private Parts; Bob Ernst, who goes way back with Jim and me, having choreographed the knife fight in the original A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil; where you would also have seen Mary Forcade, again here; and Roham Sheikhani, the mute presence in Dieci Giorni.
Now the band, the band, the all-star band. This is maybe where my heart truly lies, most fervently and even with some palpitations, as I wonder, am I really good enough for them? Beth Custer clarinet, Chris Grady trumpet, Joel Davel percussion (drums even), Diana Strong accordion, John Schott guitar, Ela Polak violin, and Lisa Mezzacappa contrabass.
Now, let's hear a story, that of Aleksey Tolstoy:
Olga Forsh went up to Aleksey Tolstoy and did something. Aleksey Tolstoy also did something. At this point Konstantin Fedin and Valentin Stenich leapt outside and got down to looking for a suitable stone. They didn't find a stone but they found a spade. Konstantin Fedin cracked Ol'ga Forsh one across the chops with this spade. Then Aleksey Tolstoy stripped naked and, going out on to the Fontanka, began to neigh like a horse. Everyone said: There goes a major contemporary writer, neighing.