Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Vinyl is Back, For One Musician at Least
Len, Asleep in Vinyl is the first show in Second Stage's summer Uptown Series, in the Off-Broadway McGinn/Cazale Theatre. It revolves around Len, a music producer at the top of his game played by Michael Cullen, who walks off stage while being presented a prestigious music award on television and isolates himself in his secluded cabin/recording studio in the woods.
His estranged son finds him and so does a washed up Britney-esk pop star, who Len is producer and whose music he was to be accepting an award for, both who show up at his cabin. The two have come for different reasons. The son (Daniel Eric Gold) is an aspiring musician and has just cut a demo. He wants to play it for his dad in hopes of validation as both a musician and a son, and the pop star wants an explanation as to why Len would walk out and embarrass her on stage when he is supposed to be accepting an award for their music.
Throughout the course of the play we slowly find out about the relationship of Len and his wife and son, and what has become of his career as he is now producing teen-y pop music. Unfortunately, we never really seem to know too much about anything and it never comes to any definitive conclusion. We're left at the end very much where we started with out finding out why Len has secluded himself to begin with, and with no real change in him.
The pop star character, played by Megan Ferguson, has one of the most fascinating characters in this show. Playing a pop star who is still respected but whose partying and drug use and all around erratic behavior overshadow any music she puts out, Ferguson reminds us of some real life pop stars whose antics grab more headlines then their music. It is interesting to speculate how a person like that behaves in private and how the industry and media affects a real life person.
The show by Carly Mensch (All Hail Hurricane Gordo) is currently in previews. It officially opens June 2 and runs through June 22.