A Night in the Old MoCA Place

Ladies and Gents, get excited for Frank London’s A Night in the Old Market Place showing on January 22 at 8pm!

(Manu Narayan as The Badkhn)

We were lucky enough to take a peak at the rehearsal yesterday and hear a couple of the eerily beautiful songs from the show.

Walking into the Hunter Theater, we saw a giant projector screen with animations that were taking place behind the actors; catching your attention and making you feel unsettled in the best way.

The band is visible to the audience! Instruments such as the grand piano, an accordion, a tuba, and of course, trumpet by Frank London, will pour out Klezmer-jazz music spelled out in minor key.

Set in a market place in an old rural village, three men are blaming themselves for the death of the young bride, Sheyndele, who hurled herself into a well 20 years ago. In efforts to redeem themselves, the men ask a gargoyle to bring back the young bride from her watery grave.

(Oh! It’s our PA Intern, Charles Jabour, filling in for the Narrator! )

The musical is currently a work-in-progress and is based off of the 1907 Yiddish play, Bei Nakht Altn Mark. The adaptation features music by Frank London (who has worked with artists such as Natalie Merchant, Ben Folds Five, and Iggy Pop) and book and lyrics by Glen Berger (who recently co-wrote the book for the musical version of Spiderman! Yea!)

(Steven Hrycelak-center)

The narrative story features dark comedy and ghoul-ish lighting that will send your imagination into a supernatural spell. Talks of corpses, cemeteries, gargoyles, and wonders give the actors the opportunity to play and tell a story. (The actors are playful. During a “hold” we could hear them singing silly tunes such as “On the Road Again” and “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.)

So be sure to join us on January 22 at the old market place! Visit MASS MoCA’s website for ticket info!

Photo Credits to Danelle Cheney!

Charlotte Cohn
Charlotte CohnGargoyle

Broadway – La Boheme (Musetta) dir. Baz Luhrmann, Ovation Award Winner; Coram Boy. Off Broadway – Cheri; Ambivalence; One Hundred Gates. Regional – A.C.T.: Happy End (Hallelujah Lil), Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award nominee; Centerstage: The Boys From Syracuse (Adriana); The Murder of Isaac (Talia). The Prince Music Theater: A Night in the Old Marketplace (Gargoyle); North Shore: Nine (Stephanie Necrophorus). Walker Art Center: Uncivil Wars- Moving with Brecht and Eisler (Nana/Isabella) Film/TV – Dandelion Man; Little Kings; The Danish Play; God in the Machine; Guiding Light. Recordings – La Boheme original cast recording; Happy End A.C.T. cast recording.

Photo Credit: Hoebermann Studios

Manu Narayan
Manu NarayanThe Badkhn

Manu Narayan is a New York based artist who crosses all mediums of the performing arts.In his career, Manu has performed in straight plays, musicals, on TV, Film, and in concert. Last Summer, Manu co-starred in Mike Myers’ Paramount Pictures comedy The Love Guru. In the film he appears as Mike Myer’s sidekick “Rajneesh” – the Love Guru’s assistant/ “Moral Compass”. Manu has just wrapped, Wall Street 2 (Oliver Stone), The Last Airbender (M. Night Shyamalan) and the independent film It’s All Been Arranged (Shailja Gupta) and can be seen starring in Quarterlife Crisis (with Russel Peters and Lisa Ray), Hiding Divya (with Madhur Jaffrey) and Two Men in Shoulder Stand. On TV, he has guest starred in the pilot episodes of Cashmere Mafia, Lipstick Jungle, Spike Lee’s Mayor of N.Y, and Geena Davis’ Exit 19. Other credits include: Nurse Jackie, As the World Turns, All My Children, Law and Order SVU, The Sopranos.

On stage, Manu is most widely known for originating the “hero” Akaash in the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber/ A.R. Rahman musical Bombay Dreams on Broadway; the Drama League recognized him for his work. Off Broadway, he was in the revival of Eric Bogosian’s subUrbia, and in Getting Home, both at Second Stage Theater. He also was Whizzer in NAATCO’s Falsettoland at the Vineyard and originated Siddhartha in SIDD: the musical at the Dodger Stages. Manu was in the world premiere of Pulitzer prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Park’s Fucking A with Mos Def and S. Epatha Merkerson at the New York Shakespeare Festival/ Public Theater and has starred with Cyndi Lauper, Fisher Stevens, and Garth Hudson (from “The Band”) in New York Stage and Film’s workshop production of Largo.

As a concert artist, Manu has been asked to sing and has performed for many distinguished dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, George W. Bush and Senator Hillary Clinton. With Radovan Jovicevic (founding member of the hit European band Zana), their band Darunam ( brings together the melodies and rhythms from three homelands: America, India, and Serbia creating a Neo-world-pop sound. Their new album of Electronic Lounge/ World music with Canadian Clarinetist Milan Milosevic is “The Last Angel on Earth” and performed live in Vancouver for national broadcast on the CBC.

Manu grew up in Delmont, Pa a little town outside of Pittsburgh and in Chennai, India. He showed an affinity for music, dance, and drama at a very young age. Manu is an award winning classical saxophonist both in the western style – he has performed the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto with orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh- and in the Indian Karnatic style – he won the All India Radio music competition in Mangalore, India. He is the Karnatic saxophone student of Sri Kadri Gopalnath and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. From 2001 to 2005 Manu was a founder and co-Artistic Director of Rasa Theater, Inc. Rasa Theater was established to help develop theater artists of the South Asian Diaspora.

Photo credit: Vlad Voloshin

Steven Hrycelak

Posted January 19, 2011 by MASS MoCA
Filed under BLOG, Frank London: A Night in the Old Market Place, Theater, Work-in-progress
Leave a comment »

Digg | | Technorati | Blinklist | Furl | reddit