"Leave Me Alone!" Jazz Opera at Oberlin
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 matteredit 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.