Head Trick Theatre turns its innovative storytelling to The Cradle Will Rock, opening at AS220’s Black Box on October 14 at 7:30pm. Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 musical tells the story of Steeltown, USA, and the ordinary people who fight to stay alive as big business claims America’s interests as its own. Many decades later, not only is the political message that got Cradle’s premiere shut down still timely, but so is its stripped-down musical style, which combines speak-singing and pop parody with more traditional musical theatre numbers.
Head Trick’s production takes inspiration from the musical’s legendary first performance, where actors played their roles from the audience. Director Rebecca Maxfield says this is one of the things that excites her most about it. “A lot of the plays being done in this political climate are about the villains, and that’s an easy way to do this show too, but I wanted to do it in a way that was about the heroes” by developing ensemble elements of the production and putting the audience in the same place as the people resisting the violence and corruption in Steeltown.
Tickets $15, Free with Brown/RISD Student ID. Online at Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.brownpapertickets.