Theater Review: BLEEDING LOVE (Musical Podcast)

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by Tony Frankel on June 26, 2020

in Theater-New York,Theater-Regional,Virtual


You know, Stage and Cinema has received hundreds of podcasts and other streaming paraphernalia since April when COVID-19 shut the arts down, but most are technically awkward, strangely self-congratulatory, or simply meh. So it took a month for me to finally listen to a podcast of Bleeding Love, a wholly accessible and instantaneously fun rock musical that is not only technically proficient but filled with some awesome talent. This is the kind of radio play that lets your imagination fill in the set design and faces. My ears were glued to the speakers as if it was the famous broadcast, Kathy Fiscus Falls Down a Well.

The plot, suggested by Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Nightingale and the Rose”, seems like it was written yesterday, as it involves a girl longing to leave her home in a post-apocalyptic world devastated by climate change (“a starry-eyed teen cellist risks leaving her apartment to win the love of the rebel punk next door”). The similarities to our current pandemic is purely coincidental, as the musical (Book by Jason Schafer, Music by Arthur Lafrentz Bacon, Lyrics by Harris Doran) has actually been in development for nearly a decade.

The score is pleasant enough, as the pastiches include a Broadway showstopper, standards, and — naturally — driving rock. The dialogue had me chuckling aloud (!) as an incredible cast triumphs in character, resonance and — most importantly — distinction. The performers recorded this at the onset of the lockdown while self-isolating at their individual homes: Sarah Stiles (Bronwyn), Annie Golden (Aunt Floy), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Lolli), Marc Kudisch (The Super), Taylor Trensch (Sweet William), and Tony Vincent (Puppy).

The orchestrations by the amazing Bruce Coughlin are brought to vivid life by the band: Steffen Schackinger (guitar), Florian Navarro (reeds), Jakob Rosendahl Povisen (violin), Tobias Lautrup (cello), Allan Nagel (bass), Lars Mollenberg (drums), and musical director Martin Konge on keyboards.

This is bloody fun, folks. Listen now.

Bleeding Love
in three parts, approximately 1/2 hour each
available at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and the Broadway Podcast Network
for more info, visit Bleeding Love

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