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About this show

Conceived and performed by Armen Ra & Benjamin Marcantoni, Wrequiem is a musical and poetic expression of madness, solitude and enlightenment that draws from the remnants of nearly-lost cultures as well as touching on the resonances of the European Romantic/classical tradition, American popular culture, and high camp. From its opening moments, in which Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg's "Over the Rainbow" is given an absolutely otherworldly treatment by Karen LeBlanc on the musical saw, up to and beyond Ra's own virtuosic theremin renditions of sacred Armenian melodies, accompanied by the enchanting Somna M. Bulist on the harp, the theme of an ever-more-desperate desire for a home--not just a physical dwelling but a spiritual and psychological one--reaches dimensions that transcend the physically modest design of the production. Weaving texts from Kahlil Gibran's The Madman (read by Kembra Pfahler, Donna D'Cruz and special guests) with Ra's own compositions as well as pieces by Verdi ("La Vergine degli angeli," sung by extraordinary countertenor Benjamin Marcantoni) and Massenet, Wrequiem creates a powerful spell, fueled by the emotional commitment, eclectic sensibility, and painstaking craftsmanship of its creator. Elements of religious ritual bring the piece to a shattering but strangely hopeful conclusion.

Show Details

  • Dates:Closed on
  • Location:La MaMa E.T.C. The Club, Off-Off-Broadway