"The more you know, the more you are rewarded," exclaimed my husband as we walked to the car.
The story line? A bunch of organists are vying for the prestigious job of playing at church and leading the music school in Leibzig, Germany. It's 1722, the main organist has just died, and six musicians descend to grab for the power and prestige that they hope comes from the post.
- the habitual pickpocket and forger
- the legalist who wants to stick to tradition
- the innovator who wants change
- the playboy who collects and discards his mistresses
- the bumbling diplomat
- the "always-second-in-line" wanna-be
We laughed through the shenanigans of political alliances, musical references, religious infighting, and cultural insights. Running gags sped along like a Bach invention, including spoofs on names, satires on stereotypes, and cleverly repeated motivs. (Each musician exclaims, "If only , I could be the greatest organist ever." Sure. Sure.)
The costumes are wonderful, the lighting and narration superb - this play kept a steady pace; we were leaning forward in our seats to see what on earth the next twists and turns could be. Just when we thought we'd figured it out, off they went again!
I especially recommend it to:
- those who love satire or sarcasm (the humor never stops)
- the ambitious (it will teach you to leave your pretensions behind)
- the academic or historian (the historical fiction is mind-boggling)
- the musician or music student (you'll recognize most of the musical references and maybe learn some new ones). This is one a music teacher could happily recommend to students!
- the playwright or storyteller (for the clever language and compelling tale)
- those who just want a fun night out, this will do it.
Tickets provided the reviewer by Taproot. All photos by Erik Stuhaug.