Animal Wisdom OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Richard Termine
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 14, 2017
    Closing:
    November 4, 2017

    Theater: Bushwick Starr / 207 Starr St, New York, New York, 11237

    Synopsis: 

    The Bushwick Starr is thrilled to collaborate with West Yorkshire Playhouse in presenting the world premiere of Animal Wisdom, a new music-theater piece by Obie Award-winning composer and performer Heather Christian, in collaboration with acclaimed artist/performer Andrew Schneider, director Mark Rosenblatt, and her genre-defying group, the Arbornauts.

    Heather talks to dead people, gets freaked out and writes music. Animal Wisdom is a lo-fi, idiosyncratic, folk-blues Requiem written from theoretical or actual (you decide) conversations with the dead performed alongside poorly remembered Methodist hymns from the 1800s, hyperbolized family mythologies, and community rituals of the ridiculous in the form of a gothic catholic mass- because how else can you address your soul? Animal Wisdom is a musical offering created by sinners and science nerds for believers and non-believers alike.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Animal Wisdom

    A Requiem Mass With a Southern Twang in ‘Animal Wisdom’

    Ben Brantley

    October 13, 2017:

    We who are gathered here tonight in an unconsecrated theater in Brooklyn have been asked to join in a holy invocation, beginning with “Oh, Lord,” as we raise cups filled with – not communion wine – but sacred Coca-Cola. Of course, if our faiths lean in other directions, we are told, we may substitute “Oh, goddess,” “Oh, goodness” or, if we believe in nothing, “O.K.”

    This being hipsterfied Brooklyn, land of urban lumberjacks and secular beards, the “O.K.’s” dominate this particular call-and-response. Even agnostics, though, may find themselves almost believing in the spirits, holy and otherwise, who possess “Animal Wisdom,” Heather Christian’s truly one-of-a-kind opus at the Bushwick Starr through Nov. 4.

    Ms. Christian, a singer and composer of blazing creative ambition, has set out to create nothing less than a bona fide, full-scale requiem for the dead in all our lives. Filling the roles of barefoot evangelist, séance leader, pianist, vocalist and stand-up memoirist, this willowy reed of a performer lends new credence to the term charismatic Christianity.

    READ THE REVIEW

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