All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Live Reviews

"Leave Me Alone!" Jazz Opera at Oberlin

By Published: February 5, 2009

As might be imagined from reading the above, nothing much was resolved by the show's close. (Which is as it should be with any self-respecting modernist work.) Ben-ya'akova Plonsey tugged at her hair in a fit of rage and cried out to "die painlessly," just before collapsing off the front of the stage. Not an especially optimistic finish. But a nice, tongue-in-cheek "la commedia e finita!" parting from an opera far funnier than Pagliacci. With their sardonic, self-effacing humor, the mad clowns of Leave Me Alone! painted the avant-garde with the kind of invitingly fresh strokes the mainstream long ago lost to its machine. "Was that jazz?" Plonsey asked with a laugh after the performance. It hardly mattered—it was spectacularly inventive and entertaining art.

Cast: Dan Plonsey, Harvey Pekar, Mantra Ben-ya'akova Plonsey, Joyce Brabner, Josh Smith, Gerard Michael D'Emilio, Joanna Lemle, Christopher Rice, Kate Rosen, David Schwartz, Patty Stubel, Telephone appearance by Robert Crumb.

Dancers: Cree Carrico, Mark Muthersbaugh, Elizabeth Zharoff, Orville Zharoff

Band: Josh Smith: saxophone; Gregory Zilboorg: trumpet; Joe Karten: trumpet; Aaron Salituro: trombone; John Schott: guitar; Shaquille Harry-Tisdell: bass; Noah Hecht: drums; Daniel Michalak: piano.

Photo Credit

John Seyfried

comments powered by Disqus