TOP TEN THEATER PICKS OF 2016
(reposted from SFChronicle.com) “Weightless”: I have believed in the Kilbanes’ rock epic about the sisters Procne and Philomela (of Greek myth, and of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”) since it premiered at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 2012. Its surprising melodies have been stuck in my head since then, as has its haunting tale of two sisters whose bond with each other and whose dreams for themselves persist over distance and, in a poetic way, beyond death. The bandmates, led by the wife-and-husband team of Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses, are also the actors, and even though their instruments restrict their movement, the acting they accomplish with just facial and vocal expression makes their characters rich and deeply felt. This year, the show’s momentum has grown, with two concert performances at Z Space; hopefully the Bay Area can support another chapter in the new year.
KILBANES FEATURED IN AMERICAN THEATRE
(reposted from americantheatre.org) Bassist/vocalist Kate Kilbane’s work focuses on the musicians—who are also the actors—and the music they play is catchy, ecstatic rock. But the Kilbanes, her Oakland-based band, are mesmerizing mainly because Kilbane capitalizes on the theatricality of the live concert form and the performative joy of virtuoso musicians at play. Never abandoning their instruments (they narrate and converse as they play between-song fills), the Kilbanes maintain their rock-star cool while staying in character. Writing with her husband, bandmate Dan Moses, Kilbane adapts myths—like that of Procne and Philomela in Weightless or Medea in The Medea Cycle—because she’s interested in worlds where fantastical transformations, like a woman turning into a bird, are natural, even expected. In Eddie the Marvelous, Who Will Save the World, her next show, now in development at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, she delves into a living myth: David Bowie.
KILBANES NAMED ONE SF WEEKLY'S "THEATER ARTISTS TO WATCH"
(reposted from sfweekly.com)
The undisputed hit of this year's Fringe, Weightless, by Kate Kilbane and the Cellar Doors, was less fringy than gleaming from all its professional polish, forecasting its full production planned for 2014. The show, an adaptation of the Greek myth of Procne and Philomela, is a rock opera -- not quite a rock concert, not quite a musical; performers are at once band mates and actors. Kilbane's original, genre-defying songs are both catchy and musically interesting -- an unfortunate rarity in contemporary theater. Her performance required neither set nor costume nor movement to be counted among the most dramatic shows we've seen all year. In the coming year, Shotgun will feature her original music in Lauren Gunderson's By and By, and she'll be developing her next rock opera -- this