Weightless, a rock opera by local Bay Area band, The Kilbanes (Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses), and directed by Becca Wolff, returns home following sold-out shows at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival at BRIC in Brooklyn. Produced by Z Space and piece by piece productions – the show will play a limited engagement at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater (1127 Market St., San Francisco) April 30—May 12, 2019.
The story is a retelling of the love that exists between sisters Procne (Kate Kilbane) and Philomela (Lila Blue) from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It is described as “part concert, part play, and part dream”. Procne’s father is about to marry her off , the sisters are not having it and run away. The darkness they encounter causes some hesitation to continue, but God (Julia Brothers) takes an interest in the sisters, and brightens up the moon to help them find their way. They end up at a cabin on the ocean where they live freely until a hunter named Tereus (Josh Pollock) shows up. Procne’s curiosity is peaked and she leaves with him to an isolated island. She promises Philomela she will return but never does.
Philomela gets an urgent feeling to get to her sister when she senses new life growing inside Procne. She must see her sister and creates wings to take her to her. She successfully flies to the island, unbeknownst to Procne as Tereus finds her first and locks her up in a shed.
The Kilbanes did a great job at weaving in this mythical story with their music. The joy of being able to bring this rendition of Metamorphosis to the stage is evident when they thank the audience at the end. However, it still feels like more can be done.
The introduction to the sisters is a laid back musical performance, similar to what you would experience in a small coffee shop venue. They are dressed plainly, one in a blue jumper (different from production photos) and the other in a dress. At one point, lights beam down on the stage, and it makes you think, this is it, time to rock and then, it goes back to the previous tone. This story of sisterhood, love, betrayal and rebirth has moments that make you laugh and moments that make you gasp but the in between makes the show feel a little stuck in comfort.
It’s enjoyable and a great addition to the Bay Area stage as it was born and nurtured here. However, it can use a little more creative direction when it comes to the costumes and lighting. God in her tailored suite and boa at the end is the only character that had a part rock, part dream feel to her.
Playing at The Strand Theater the tickets range from $15–$70 and are available at the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at act-sf.org. Prices are subject to change without notice. Running time: 70 minutes, no intermission
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