Untitled Theater Company #61 presents Cat's Cradle, a calypso musical from the book by Kurt Vonnegut, adapted and directed by Edward Einhorn, with music by Henry Akona.
This adaptation is set in the Church of Bokononism, a mythical religion created by Vonnegut. The musical is presented as a Passion Play for Bokononism, and the choir members of this church will sing, play instruments, and enact Vonnegut's story about a man called Jonah, a new invention called ice-nine, and the havoc this seemingly innocuous invention wreaks on the world. As the play is performed a video feed will project models, manipulated live in the theater, as the scenic backdrop.
Cat's Cradle was published in 1963 and quickly became a classic, establishing Vonnegut's reputation as one of America's preeminent novelists. Written partly in reaction to the atomic bomb, the book examined the ethics of science, the irrationality of war, and man's impulse to want to believe in God and fate. Bokononism, a religion "based on shameless lies," embodied many of his philosophic ideas. Ice-nine is a fictional creation that could change the freezing point of water -- a change that would cause a quick chain reaction leading to the end of the world.
Many of the lyrics for the musical are taken straight from Vonnegut, who wrote numerous "Calypsos," prayers of Bokononism, in his book. These calypsos comment on the action, much in the manner of a Greek chorus. Bokonon himself remains onstage throughout, as the lead singer and commentator. The musical travels from Ilium, New York to the mythical Carribean island of San Lorenzo, Bokonon's home.
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