The rock musical On the Eve debuted last year to so much acclaim you could barely get seats at its Magnolia Lounge run. The musical is back, with shows at Theatre 3 from January 16 to February 9. It's the story of...well, it's complicated. But we love it -- here's an excerpt from Elaine Liner's review last year:
It's about time a Dallas theater birthed a cracking good musical. This one, directed and designed by Jeffrey Schmidt, with a 12-song score by Dallas band Home by Hovercraft's Seth and Shawn Magill, is a small show that feels like the start of something big. Moving with the same throbbing beats and sexy energy of the musical Spring Awakening, it also is brimming over with the dark wit of the movies Back to the Future and Time Bandits.
So you may recognize that Home By Hovercraft name as a band we have repeatedly recommended to you over the years here on DC9 at Night. Through their connections with and enthusiasm for the North Texas music scene, attendees at this new staging will be treated to recent songs by 21 area bands during pre-show, post-show and the intermission.
A statement reflecting on the music design for this run of On The Eve describes how the playlist came to be:
Tasked with selecting the music our audience hears during pre-show, intermission, and post-show, music director/designer Shawn Magill drew her primary inspiration from the slew of high quality albums released and stellar live performances turned in by our local and regional bands over the past year or so.
Back-story for the show, is that while actors are performing as characters in a musical, we also see them in the house as actors, living in an old abandoned underground theatre in the midst of a future apocalyptic event. The only way they know to survive is to perform this play over and over. Crucial to Shawn's music design is an imagined found an old hard drive or music player in the rubble that has songs on it mostly from our time period, some older favorites. Perhaps it belonged to a local critic working on their year- end best list? These tracks are an escape for them, all they have to listen to other than the music they create, and the sounds of war outside.
Music was generously provided by Air Review, Blackstone Rangers, Borrisokane, Cutter, Daniel Markham, Dark Rooms, Fox And The Bird, Hickory Street Hellraisers, Insko, Ishi, Knifight, Mighty Mountain, Mur, The O's, Pageantry, The Polyphonic Spree, Sarah Jaffe, This Will Destroy You, Yum. As you enter the space, make sure to locate band information and photos on the "wall of the missing" where the actors have created a shrine to those who are missing in the war.
You can listen to the full playlist now, all hour and twenty minutes of it. Note especially the first track, a heretofore unreleased cut from Blackstone Rangers.
And just to be clear, this isn't just a random mixtape of Home By Hovercraft's friends' bands. No, this is a thoughtfully curated statement that ties into the narrative and mood of the play. Again, from the reflection, this time quoting entirely from Magill:
During pre-show we hear more organic sounds, mostly real instruments, slower more introspective pieces shifting to discovery, sacrifice, and revolution. Then the music grows declarative as the cast joins together to celebrate the things they miss, love and discovery and all they've lost, as they prepare to perform this show one more time. At intermission we begin to time travel, shifting to more electronic, spacey, and dreamy. The shift continues with a military flair softening just a bit for the Act 2 opening and finally shifting to a triumphant and joyful post-show experience.