Calypso - a literary performance by Paul Rome and Roarke Menzies
Brooklyn writer Paul Rome and performer-composer Roarke Menzies return to The Bushwick Starr on May 9 - 12, 2012 with their latest collaboration: Calypso.
Penned in what Bushwick BK calls Rome's "endearingly neurotic" prose and accompanied by Menzies' "haunting" (T-Rex NYC) soundtrack, Calypso pairs a personal account of a 21st century Manhattan romance with irreverent retellings of two of Western literature's most iconic epics: Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid.
A pair of 20-somethings embarks on a fateful tandem ride through the West Village after hitting it off over a shared love of Haruki Murakami and 1970's Calypso records. Meanwhile back in Ithaca, Penelope's patience wears thin as her long-distance relationship is tested by temptation and an unbearable mother-in-law. And on Mount Olympus, Aeneas relives his most conflicted decision: deserting the one woman he ever truly loved.
In Spring 2011, a one-act version of Calypso had Storefront Gallery in Bushwick "packed to the rainy threshold and glow[ing] with laughter" (Bushwick BK). The work has now been expanded into an evening-length production designed for the black box theatre. Taking cues from innovative monologists like Joe Frank and Spalding Gray, and audio storytellers like Ira Glass and Garrison Keillor, the alternating narratives are read aloud by Rome and Menzies in a vibrant back-and-forth between ancient and current, mythic and commonplace, academic dissertation and bar room confessional. The show's spare physical presentation gives way to a consuming aural environment wherein storytelling takes the foreground.
The Bushwick Starr (View)
207 Starr Steet
Brooklyn, NY 11237