Directed & Designed by Spencer Christiano

What Is Art? – Friday February 19, 2010
Photos by Annette Dragon
Moose Murders – Saturday February 20, 2010
Photos by Annette Dragon
My Great Dead Sister – Sunday February 21, 2010
Photos by Annette Dragon

More on Moose Murders.

What do you do if you have the biggest failure in Broadway history? Mount a career retrospective, of course. Twenty-seven years later.

Arthur Bicknell was a young, promising off-Broadway playwright when, in 1983, his agent sold his unfinished play “Moose Murders” to a Texas oilman who wanted to mount it on Broadway as “something nice” for his wife. In six weeks. The million dollar production, a sum unheard of for a non-musical at the time, made theatrical history in the worst possible way. (Usual quotes.) Bicknell, who had two off-Broadway successes prior to “Moose”, saw his career destroyed. Drunken divas, technical staging nightmares and re-writes that were, to say the least, up to the minute, hacked to death his lifelong love of the theater. Until….

Exactly twenty-five years to the day after the premiere of “Moose Murders”, a troupe of amateur everythings in Rochester, New York mounted a loving, non-kitsch revival of the Moose which they had turned into a post-modern musical that garnered the attention yet again of the New York Times in a front page Arts section article on the nature of failure, the theater, and the Moose.

Playwright Bicknell’s delightful and theater affirming experience with the Rochester group led him to write a new play expressly for this company. And so on Friday, February 18th at the MuCCC theater in Rochester, New York, “What is Art?” will have its world premiere. “Moose Murders” will be reprised for one night on Saturday, February 19th with its original (”non-professional, in fact, barely amateur” according to the New York Times) cast and on Sunday, February 20th, one of Bicknell’s true successes, “My Great Dead Sister” will be performed 30 years to the day of its New York premiere.

“Not unlike the mysterious and benign figure who offered Judah Ben-Hur a gourd full of water on his way to the galley ships,” analogized Bicknell, “John W. Borek has sated my thirst for respect and inspired me to return to my theatrical homeland—overgrown now with weeds and dead leaves, perhaps, but still there, it turns out. The race continues!”

Read the publicity article at MPNnow.