Friday, August 22, 2014

Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter @ The Minetta Lane Theatre

Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter is a surreal and philosophical story of a small and somewhat naïve nation located in the elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson and their desire for greatness. Roiled by passion and great ambition, what will this once-idyllic community find... riches, ruin or redemption? The heart of Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter lies in its songs, which were written over the course of several years by Ívar Páll Jónsson — a gifted Icelandic songwriter who pursued fronting a rock band several years ago and released an album, but felt confined in the spotlight. He worked as a journalist but kept writing songs, and ultimately, with the encouragement of his younger brother Gunnlaugur, found his comfort zone behind the curtain. He wrote the entire score and, with his brother, the book for the musical.

Revolution is like no musical you have ever seen before, it's comparable to Urinetown: The Musical but edgier and a more intense score. Leading the cast is Cady Huffman(The Nance) as the "evil" Mayor of Elbowville. Huffman is seductive, satanic, and just all around perfect. Kate Schindle(Wonderland) stops the show with her legendary vocals. Marrick Smith, Graydon Long, and Brad Nacht are the perfect brothers, that is until they betray one another. Smith's incredible range leaves the audience in awe. Jesse Wildman is adorable, sweet, and sexy. This cast as an ensemble is a straight up knock out.

Set & projection design were done by Petr Hloušek. Hloušek delivers a truly stunning atmosphere, that at first glance leave the audience uncomfortable as we watch Ragnar Agnarsson sleeping on his couch, then as the show opens and the show goes on, his designs prove to be brilliant. Costume design is by Hrafnhildur Arnardottir and Edda Gudmundsdottir were different, riskay and groundbreaking. Rounding out the design team was lighting design by Jeff Croiter (Tony winner for Peter and the Starcatcher) and Cory Pattak which brought the entire show together as a whole. 

Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter began performance on July 31st at the Minetta Lane Theatre and it official opening night took place on August 13th, 2014.

Review By: James Russo
Photos By: Carol Rosegg

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