The new rock-and-roll musical is called On the Eve. Actor Michael Federico wrote it with his friends Seth and Shawn Magill, the husband-and-wife team who head up East Dallas band Home by Hovercraft. It's about Marie Antoinette, sort of, and you can see its debut, in a pay-what-you-can staged reading, this Friday and Saturday at Nouveau 47 Theatre at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park.
Michael and Seth went to SMU together and have been friends forever. They've been trying to write something together for years and finally ended up in the same city (the Magills were in Austin, then New York before moving back here). Says Michael: "We came up with the story of the show together, and then I wrote the book and they wrote the music. The music and the plot aren't typical Broadway musical material, but hopefully that will appeal to some people."
The performances will have actors holding scripts and doing minimal blocking. But Michael says the musicians will be playing full out and the actors will be singing live.
Here's how the creators describe On the Eve: "This is the almost entirely true story of Marie Antoinette and the first time-traveling hot air balloon. With Revolution on the horizon and a husband who is generally lacking, Antoinette turns to a space-busting aeronaut, a crazed scientist and a beautiful muse to set things right in her kingdom. However, as the tool to truly dominate her people comes within her grasp, Antoinette starts a revolution of her own, realizing she's become little more than history's plaything. Changing the story midstream, Antoinette sends her new acquaintances through space and time to fight, sing and Irish dance on her behalf."
The cast for this debut includes some royally good Dallas actors: Gregory Lush, Martha Harms, Jenny Ledel, Brian Witkowicz, Maryam Baig Lush, Seth Magill, Tara Magill, Joel McDonald, Aspen Taylor, Sarah Duc and Andrew Bloch.
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Pay-what-you-can performances of the show, sponsored by Nouveau 47 Theatre, are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, at the Margo Jones Theater in the Magnolia Lounge at Fair Park.