The Civilians - Gone Missing

On Friday night we saw "Gone Missing" by The Civilians. James provided a preview in July inspired by an article in the NY Times about Steve Cosson, the artistic director.

"Gone Missing" is a theater work, with original songs by Michael Friedman, about things lost and found. It's very clever, and manages to go from silly songs and stories to very profound ones about loss and memory. I think the way it is wrapped up by the end is pretty brilliant, all the more so from being a collaborative project rather than a work by a single smart playwright. To give you a sense of what the songs are like, here are MP3s of two of the songs from the show. I don't think the CD is as good as they are live, in case you're wondering.

  • Lost Horizon - sung by Trey Lyford, a kind of mini-epic
  • Etch A Sketch - a somewhat silly song sung by the brilliant Jennifer Morris. I have talked with her about it, and she admits she is more of an actress than a singer, so she is lucky to be working with a composer who can write for her. Live, she is such a charismatic performer you don't think about whether she is a great singer, and she pulls it off. Actually, listening again to the recording -- she sounds great on the CD. How can you go wrong with a song that begins, "Once I was a Lockean tabula rasa"?

I would like to add one more MP3 - of the French song "La Canaille" (English translation and arrangement by Michael Friedman) from their show "Paris Commune". I talked about it here. This performance is by a lovely young woman named Quincy Tyler Bernstine. I sat next to her at Joe's Pub a few months ago and blurted out "I love you!" when I recognized her.

There is a nice article in the latest Brooklyn Rail about them and "Gone Missing."

I want to point out to those reading this that I'm normally not a fan of musicals, so I rarely recommend musical theater. The Civilians produce very out of the ordinary works.

The show runs through November 2 at the Belt Theater on West 37th Street.

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For $20 tickets to "Gone Missing" by The Civilians, use this link, or call 212-868-4444. To get the discount on... Read More

We saw The Civilians' Nobody's Lunch last Thursday, and I've been remiss in not writing it about it sooner. A... Read More

I shall thank you for the tunes anyway. Thank you.I want to sit and smoke my pipe, da da da dada.

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Published on October 13, 2003 12:40 AM.

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