Six years ago, Sam Spiegel, music director and founder of Squeak E. Clean, collaborated on the creation of a musical project entitled Stop The Virgens with Karen O and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, which Spiegel describes as an "organically formed labor of love."
Feeling early on that the work had the potential to be much broader than a rock record, Karen decided to transform it into what she has deemed a "psycho-opera." She teamed up with production designer K.K. Barrett (Where the Wild Things Are, Lost In Translation) and playwright Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter) as director, for what Karen describes as an assault on the tragic joys of youth, fever dreams drenched in visual seduction, a cathartic spell spun through a cycle of nine songs. The Creators Project produced the piece through their innovative arts initiative, The Studio.
The product of this interdisciplinary endeavor seemingly defies description. Embracing a multitude of platforms, Stop the Virgens crosses genres to combine the sensibilities of rock show, musical theatre production, projected filmmaking, and innovative technology. Nick Zinner says, "It's unlike anything I've ever seen or heard. It's going to blow people's minds."
The abstract narrative follows a youthful group of virgins as they are placed into an environment under Karen O's shelter. After a tumultuous storm, Karen metamorphosizes from a nurturing leader to a dark presence and exiles the naive group. The virgins are forced to leave and come to terms with their sexuality, which they ultimately come to regret. They find salvation in some gum balls which they eat towards the denouement.
Stop The Virgens debuted October 12th in DUMBO in conjunction with St. Ann's Warehouse, and will run for a limited engagement only through October 22nd.
Co-creators: Karen O & KK Barrett
Director: Adam Rapp
Music Direction: Sam Spiegel and Nick Zinner
Produced by: The Creators Project
Executive Producer: Mark Subias
Choreography: Mariangela Lopez
Choir Direction and conducted by: Debra Barsha
Costume Design: Christian Joy
Make Up and Hair design: Mike Potter
Projection Design: Darrel Maloney
Lighting Design: Keith Parham
Sound Design: Andres Velasquez
Featuring: Money Mark, Jack Lawrence, Patrick Keeler, Brian Chase, Nick Zinner, Jason Grisell, Gillian Rivers, Yuiko Kamakari, Justin Kantor Ian Young, Frank London and Lili Taylor