Many people prefer the sweet, uplifting Broadway-type musical scores of “Chicago” and “42nd Street”” to heavy dramas for a night on the town.
That’s a far cry from the latest, but intriguing rock musical we’ve seen – White Noise -- which combines both a noisy and contemporary musical score with menacing, lurking lyrics and a disturbing dramatic theme about white supremacy.
The Playbill calls White Noise “a cautionary musical.” That makes you wonder what kind of theatrical experience will be featured.
Inspired by the real life story of the beautiful, blue-eyed blonde Gaede twins, who sang white supremacist songs for several years, the musical follows a top-selling, brazen music producer, Max (Douglas Sills), as he packages controversial artists as blockbuster stars.
At the core of the story, two rock groups with hidden agendas compete for show business success. Eva and Eden (Mackenzie Mauzy and Emily Padgett) are disturbingly brilliant as the young White Noise band singers on the road to supreme stardom singing catchy neo-Nazi and racist punk music compete with ‘The Bloodbrothas,” (Wallace Smith as Dion and Rodney Hicks as Tyler) the hip-hop-turned gangsta rap duo. They meet and compete at the top of the song charts – and then collide with conflict and consequence.
It features a book by Matte O’Brien who describes a story where “language and music are used and misused as an influencer in pop culture. The White Noise ride we have created encourages us to sharpen our awareness to what we’re consuming – the words, the sounds, the media messaging – and reminds us that we always have the choice to decide what we take in, and what we let out.”
White Noise is produced by comedian-actress Whoopi Goldberg. Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family, Guys and Dolls, Next to Normal, All Shook Up) is the director and choreographer. Jesse Vargas is the Music Director.
Featuring a book by Matte O’Brien, music and lyrics are by Robert Morris, Steven Morris and Joe Shane. It was originally conceived by Ryan J. Davis with a story and characters by Joe Drymala.
The constantly evolving set is brilliantly designed by Robert Brill; costumes designed by Paul Tazewell, lights by Jason Lyons, sound by Garth Helm and fantastic multi-media design by Raj Kapoor.
Producer Whoopi Goldberg comments, “White Noise smacks you in a challenging, emotional and entertaining way. The producing team looks forward to bring this unflinchingly honest new production to Chicago where audiences are sophisticated, aware and open to a musical that will certainly remind them of today’s headlines and might awaken a new awareness of current social issues.”
White Noise will be featured at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 North Halstead (312-988-9000); through TicketMaster or www.whitenoisetickets.com through June 5. Tickets are $54.50-$74.50. Student tickets are available in person with a student I.D. for $20.
The performance schedule is:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Saturday Matinee at 5 pm; Sunday Matinee at 2 pm...
Go see White Noise. While it’s not your typical Hollywood - Broadway musical, it provides a day or evening of valuable lessons worthy of continuing dialog after the show. It’s an experience unlike any other on the American stage today.