The Reviews Are In

The reviews are in and critics are loving Jason Craig and Dave Malloy’s Beardo! Check out the early press below, and grab your tickets now! Do not wait, Beardo is only playing through March 5!

Beardo is a louche, lewd and assertively weird fantasia on the life of Rasputin. Dave Malloy’s score is enjoyably eclectic, borrowing from disco, jazz, rock and folk…”
The New York Times

Sexy, twisted, and mysterious, the legend of Rasputin gets a further imaginative boost here with the presence of the bewitching Damon Daunno (Hadestown) in the lead; he’s likely to cast more than just one spell on audiences.”
The Village Voice, Critics’ Pick

Beardo is near brilliant, played with pitch-perfect timing by the cast, particularly Damon Daunno, in a star-making turn… It is pure pleasure.”
The Daily Beast

“…an unforgettable theatrical experience. Malloy employs an eclectic mix of styles for a score that is both tuneful and daring resulting in stunning vocal performances throughout and the most breathtaking first act finale this side of Les Misérables.”
TheaterMania

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Photo by Suzi Sadler

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Spotlight on Dave

DaveDave Malloy, the mind behind the absolutely beautiful music of Beardo, is a composer/writer/performer/orchestrator/sound designer. His shows include Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; Ghost Quartet; Preludes; Black Wizard/Blue Wizard; Three Pianos; All Hands; Beardo; Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage; The Sewers; Sandwich; Clown Bible; and (The 99-cent) Miss Saigon. He is the winner of two Obie Awards, the Richard Rodgers Award, an ASCAP New Horizons Award, and a Jonathan Larson Grant. Future projects include adaptations of Moby-Dick and Shakespeare’s Henriad. He lives in Brooklyn. Learn more about Dave in our interview below, and grab your tickets to Beardo today!

Pipeline Theatre Company: What compelled you to write this show?

Dave Malloy: I have both long been fascinated by the tales of Rasputin, this seemingly demonic shaman who somehow charmed his way into the Tsar’s palace, and by the crazy fiasco/myth of his assassination, in which the seemingly immortal Rasputin had to be poisoned, then shot, then wrapped in a rug and drowned in the river. So when Jason had the idea to do a piece about him (with the Shotgun Players, back in 2010), I jumped at the chance to explore this cultish figure, and to indulge in both Russian classical music and paganistic ritual music with a string quartet.

PTC: How do you see this production of Beardo differing from the Berkeley production?

DM: You always learn so much during the first run of a show; so this has been an amazing opportunity to dig back into the piece and fix the things that needed massaging, do some small edits and structural reshuffling, refine some of the melodies and orchestrations, and add a couple new bits. Plus of course our new cast and new director/designers are breathing tons of new life into the show, as is our amazing church venue. And the current political clownshitshow is of course influencing the way we hear this piece about a dangerous charlatan working his way into the highest ranks of the government as well.

PTC: What excites you most about this production?

DM: Pipe organ!

PTC: More generally, what excites you as a composer?

DM: Mmmm in general I really enjoy bringing old stories to life with contemporary language and music, and exploring that dissonance between history and aesthetics.

PTC: Beardo begins the play searching for something in a hole – What is your “hole” and what do you think you are searching for?

DM: I’ll let you know soon as I’ve found it.

PTC: Are you attracted to Beardo the character? What about him is attractive or repulsive?

DM: The craziest thing to me is that most accounts seem to confirm that he did in fact have some healing effect on the Tsar’s heir, Alexei, a boy of 3 suffering from hemophilia. So I’m pretty fascinated by the gentleness implied by that, in contrast to the other, more demonic and hedonistic tales that are told.

PTC: If you could create a tagline for the show, what would it be?

DM: Well we did! “Royalty, peasantry, sex, dirt, grandeur, and hemophilia” is something Shotgun, Jason and I came up with back in the day. I might add “glissandi” to the list (the strings play a ton of them).

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Spotlight on Jason

jasonJason Craig, the playwright behind our beautiful and bizarre Beardo, is the Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of Banana Bag & Bodice. His writing with BB&B has won him awards nationally and internationally. (Scripts include The Sewers, The Young War, Sandwich). His adaptation of Beowulf entitled Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage (music by Dave Malloy) was a commission by Shotgun Players and played at The Ashby Stages and Berkeley Rep, and made its New York premiere at Abrons Arts Center in 2009. It has traveled the world. His most recent script LongYarn, will be published in 2017 in TDR. Learn more about Jason in our interview below, and grab your Beardo tickets today!

Pipeline Theatre Company: What compelled you to write this show?

Jason Craig: As a character, Rasputin has all the right components to pique anyone’s interest…mystery and mysticism, the outsider breaching the gates, sex and booze, the evil versus godliness, and a slapstick ending to his life that the Marx brothers would be proud of.

PTC: How do you see this production of Beardo differing from the Berkeley production?

JC: I think there are particular themes in the world today that resonate on a different level with the themes in the show that were not as relevant back in 2012. The examination of who is on the outside and who is on the inside is fascinating as we come out of this election cycle. The voice of the “common person” has been heard on a completely different way in the last year, and this voice is about to effect world politics on a level that we could not ever expect. So in this regard, I think the characterization of Rasputin as Beardo might resonate and ring out in very interesting ways that we couldn’t really foresee back when it was originally conceived.

Also, the fact that it is taking place in a church will hugely influence the perception of certain themes. The church is another character.

PTC: What excites you most about this production?

JC: I think the design team that Pipeline has assembled is so exciting. And the cast is an amazingly talented group of people.

And the fact that the production is so Woman Strong is so fantastic. I think you can almost count the men in the production room on one hand, whereas the women are an army and in a show about misogyny, this is almost essential.

PTC: More generally, what excites you as a writer?

JC: Being given freedom to just run with an idea.

PTC: Beardo begins the play searching for something in a hole – What is your “hole” and what do you think you are searching for?

JC: The next idea, whatever that may be.

PTC: Do you see yourself in the play? If so, where?

JC: Sure! All the way to the very end.

PTC: Are you attracted to Beardo the character? What about him is attractive or repulsive?

JC: Absolutely. The key to making him more attractive was finding a way to connect this anti-hero to the audience so that we can all be more sympathetic to his goals. I think the comedy and the music in the piece allows this to happen.

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Spotlight on Charlotte

Whitney session 5An outspoken proponent of experimental sounds and expression, violinist Charlotte Munn-Wood is an active freelancer, chamber musician, teacher, and curator in New York City and beyond and has joined team Beardo on violin. She is a co-founding member of Du.0 (pronounced “doo-point-oh”), a two-violin experimental music duo, and performs regularly with the Curiosity Cabinet. She is a frequent commissioner of new works and a co-curator of the Blank Space House Concert series. Charlotte is a recent graduate of the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Dr. Curtis Macomber. Away from the violin, she enjoys coffee, Dostoyevsky, and petting other people’s dogs in the park.

Learn more about Charlotte in our interview below and reserve your tickets here!

Pipeline Theatre Company: What attracted you to Beardo? What made you want to work on this project?

Charlotte Munn-Wood: I read “the fall of the Russian monarchy” in the description of the musical. That was literally all it took. I’m very enthusiastic about pre-Soviet Russian history.

PTC: Why violin?

CMW: My mom wouldn’t let me play viola, so I had to learn violin. I grew into it, I guess. Also I like that it’s a) small, b) very portable, c) easily assimilated by non-Western musical cultures, d) capable of producing a range of bizarre and expressive sounds, and e) has two parts (the violin and the bow – that sort of thing doesn’t happen in living creatures, whose bodies are very boring in that all the parts are connected to one another).

PTC: If you ruled the world, what would you be remembered for?

CMW: Well-built and exactingly-maintained infrastructure.

PTC: Why should someone who has no connection to this show or its artists come see the show?

CMW: It’s about Russia and Russians and who doesn’t want as much of that as possible?

PTC: If you could create a promotional tagline for this show, what would it be?

CMW:Before Putin, there was BEARDO”

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Beardo Extends! Curtain is Now at 7:30PM! Plus New Short Film!

Tomorrow we will present the very first preview performance of Beardo, and today we have an exciting announcement:

Due to popular demand, Beardo will extend one week, to March 5. Performances are Tuesdays-Sundays, with the exception of Wednesday, March 1. All performances (including those previously announced) will now be at 7:30PM, not 8:00PM. Get your tickets while you still can.

Can’t wait even one more day to enter the world of Beardo? Well you don’t have to. Today we are also pleased to share with you the exciting conclusion of our three part short film series, BEARDO: Grandeur Hemophilia. Watch now!

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Gett Thee to Greenpoint

Over the past few months, team Beardo has made Greenpoint our home and we’re excited to share it with you.

There’s a lot going on in Brooklyn’s northernmost neighborhood, so we’ve put together a handy GUIDE to point you in the direction of our favorite destinations. And now, thanks to a special promotion through our friends at Gett, it’s also easier (and cheaper!) than ever to get there.

unnamed-2New Gett users will receive a promo code for $5 off their ride both to and from St. John’s Lutheran Church, the home of Beardo. Get your Beardo tickets now and then come show day, we’ll send you download instructions and the code, and you’ll receive a total of $10 in savings round trip. Keep in mind, this promotion will only be available to new users.

Gett is the only on-demand black car app that provides New Yorkers with affordable, flat rates that never surge. Gett offers a range of car services that provides customers with a safe and reliable way of getting around.

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Greenpoint Neighborhood Guide

Welcome-to-Greenpoint-MuralComing to see Beardo this February? We encourage you to come to Greenpoint early and stay late. This Brooklyn neighborhood is full of a wide breadth of restaurants, bars, and activities. From historic neighborhood institutions, to trendy new spots, there’s something in Greenpoint for everyone to explore. Check out the list we’ve put together, curated by publicist and NYC local excursion expert, Morgan Dubin.

OLD-SCHOOL GREENPOINT

PAULIE GEE’S (Best for…Pizza)
Some of the absolute best pizza in NYC, with a perfect combination of quality and creativity. There is always a long wait on weekends, so it’s best to come early or late. You’ll probably meet Paulie himself, and he’ll ask you which pie was your favorite. I recommend coming at 5:30pm or after the show, and getting the Ricky Ricotta, Sake Mountain Way, Cherry Jones or really any of the pizzas. Share with the table!

KROLEWSKIE JADLO (Best for… Dinner)
Pierogi, kielbasa & other hearty Polish staples are served in a medieval-themed setting. Go Polish-crazy with Borscht, Goulash, Pheasant, and so much more.

CAPRI SOCIAL CLUB (Best for… Drinking)
The Capri Social Club (also called Irene’s) is a time warp that’s hidden away on a residential street. This is a former members-only club with a wooden phone booth and a jukebox. Not so much old-school as super local. I recommend enjoying the atmosphere and ordering a $6-strong-mixed-drink.

PETER PAN DONUT & PASTRY SHOP (Best for… Donuts)
Peter Pan has been around since the 1950’s, and looks like it hasn’t been updated since. Order from the counter for charming service and incredible donuts. Grab a stool if they are empty! I recommend Maple Glazed Cake, Old-Fashioned Plain, or Boston Creme. They do sell out of donuts!

NEW + TRENDY GREENPOINT

FIVE LEAVES (Best for… Dinner)
New American plus oysters with a focus on sourcing local produce, sustainable seafood, free-range meat and poultry. I recommended the homemade ricotta, Five Leaves burger, baked lemon curd, and all the cocktails.

MILK & ROSES (Best for… Cocktails + Happy Hour)
Cozy Italian-focused cocktail bar with full menu, grand piano, old books, and backyard. Romantic and quiet. I recommended coming early to read or chat with a pre-show cocktail.

ACHILLES HEEL (Best for… Beer + Wine + Happy Hour)
Gastropub-style small plates, house cocktails & brews in a quaint corner tavern with a tin ceiling. Plus, a fireplace! I recommend grabbing those seats by the fire and having a glass of wine or excellent draft beer.

VAN LEEUWEN ARTISAN ICE CREAM (Best for… Ice Cream + Coffee)
Classic, incredibly delicious ice cream is their thing. And this chic, cozy location serves it well. Location serves a full menu of their vegan and classic ice creams, sundaes and milkshakes along with coffee by Toby’s Estate, Organic teas by Rishi and fresh pastries daily from Balthazaar and Ovenly. I recommend their Mint Chip or the affogato.

UNIQUE LOCAL ACTIVITIES

SUNSHINE LAUNDROMAT & PINBALL (Best for… Pinball + Beer + Pizza)
There is a Pinball Bar Hidden Inside Greenpoint’s Sunshine Laundromat, and it is fantastic and fun. You have to walk through a washer/dryer to get to the arcade! I recommended doing all that with a beer.

BROOKLYN BAZAAR (Best for… Games + Shopping + Music + Making a Night of it)
Flea-market scene with live bands, food stands, beer & wine, art galore & Ping-Pong. It is free to enter, and the music is ticketed. I recommend playing mini-golf with a cold one and then checking on the live music. The Ping-Pong is also super fun.

WNYC TRANSMITTER PARK (Best for… the View)
Once the working home of the WNYC radio transmission towers, the park is now a stunning green space, with both natural areas and also recreation. The park includes an overlook to the south, seating, and a waterfront esplanade.

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Spotlight on Aaron

13073196_10156831226905716_450179120_o (1)Aaron Lindenberg is a singer-songwriter, arranger and multi-instrumentalist in Brooklyn, New York, and he’s joined the Beardo team as one of our music assistants! He studied music at Sarah Lawrence College, and has arranged and directed a cappella choirs, musicals and film scores. He writes lush R&B music and performs throughout New York City. Learn more about Aaron in our interview below and grab those tickets here!

Pipeline Theatre Company: What attracted you to Beardo? What made you want to work on this project?

Aaron Lindenberg: Beardo’s music snagged me right away! What a weird and wonderful combination of styles, and a totally fresh lyrical approach to musical theater writing. Once I saw the church where it was being performed, I knew something totally unique was going to happen there.

PTC: What draws you to working on music?

AL: Being the Music Assistant, I help our fabulous Music Director (Ian Axness) unfold so much gorgeous, complex music for a cast of supremely talented actors. As a singer-songwriter, I get to learn so much about the composition and logistics of putting together a big piece like Beardo.

PTC: If you ruled the world, what would you be remembered for?

AL: Being compassionate and redecorating often.

PTC: Why should someone who has no connection to this show or its artists come see the show?

AL: Because this show is brimming with talent! Everyone involved is a total talent, from the cast to the directors, to the production team to the band, and so on! This show is made of 100% love and everyone who sees it will know exactly what I mean!

PTC: If you could create a promotional tagline for this show, what would it be?

AL: There’s weird in his beard.

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WATCH: “Sex, Dirt”

In just over two weeks, Beardo will perform for it’s very first audience at St. John’s Lutheran Church. But you don’t have to wait until February 3 to get a taste.

Today we’re pleased to release “Sex, Dirt,” another very short film inspired by Beardo. This is the second in a series of three films, each a minute or less in length, designed to bring you a bit further into this sensual, miraculous, and bizarre world. Watch “Sex, Dirt” now and grab your Beardo tickets today!

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Spotlight on Ellen

Ellen Winter HeadshotEllen Winter is a Brooklyn-based composer, music director, and performer and has joined the Beardo team as music assistant. She writes, arranges, and sings with Chamber Band, an indie-nerd-rock group who premiered music from their upcoming time-travel album Governor’s Square in ANT Fest 2016. As a music director and performer, she has developed new works with composers such as César Alvarez (Universe is a Small Hat, SLC; The Elementary Spacetime Show, Philly Fringe; NOISE, PHTS) and Heather Christian (Annie Salem, Polyphone). She is a company member of both the Electric Eye Ensemble and Daughters of Elysium. Learn more about Ellen in our interview below, and grab your Beardo tickets today!

Pipeline Theatre Company: What attracted you to Beardo? What made you want to work on this project?

Ellen Winter: When approached to be a part of this project, the badass team of groundbreaking artists supported by the radical Pipeline Theatre Company was enough to hook me. Then when I read it and listened to it, I remember thinking 1) this is totally ridiculous and 2) this is exactly the kind of art that needs to happen right now. I wanted to be a part of that.

PTC: You’re on the music team. What made you first pick this area to specialize?

EW: Even beyond the lyrics, music provides a method of storytelling we can physically feel and internalize. 

PTC: If you ruled the world, what would you be remembered for?

EW: My many lists of many things. 

PTC: Why should someone who has no connection to this show or its artists come see the show?

EW: Beardo is a glimpse into a world that at first glance seems vastly different until you notice the eerie parallels to our own. Also the music sounds like Tchaikovsky jamming with Gogol Bordello.

PTC: If you could create a promotional tagline for this show, what would it be?

VD: You didn’t invite him to dinner, but he’s staying for dessert.

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