Sunday, December 03, 2006

Striking 12 at DR1

Can it be possible? Three amazing live shows in a row, each worth recommending? I guess that's what happens when you bite the bullet and pay real money for theater once in a while (although it's still never a guarantee). Company, Utopia 1, and now ... Striking 12, the rock concert cum holiday musical, now playing at the Daryl Roth on Union Square, is a feel good show with depth and humor and self-awareness. It's like a post-modern version of A Christmas Carol set on New Year's Eve. The show features as a story within a story the tale of the Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. It moves effortlessly between faux real life (the band named Groovelily doing "a holiday show for people who don't like holiday shows"), the world of the fairy tale, and the thinly veiled modern story of an office drone who says "Bah, humbug" to what he sees as New Year's pointlessness. It's just the three band members and a stripped down set, but it manages to captivate in that way that good live musical acts so often perform with a sense of theatricality. The backdrop is a web of what could very well be miniature Times Square balls on strings. Many of the lighting and staging choices adeptly work with the themes of the story. I didn't even realize it until now, but even the title puns on the "striking" of a match. If you like your yuletide spirit served with a lot of musical energy and a good helping of self-awareness, go see this show, which is playing, appropriately, through Dec. 31. Oh, and there is some amazing electric violin playing here by Valerie Vigoda. Makes me want to see the band perform a more traditional gig after this holiday run.

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