Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Inside The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Original artwork by Andrew Chandler

We've been working so hard on our upcoming live soundtrack of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari that I've been remiss in posting about it. The show will be performed at The McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College in Memphis on March 22, 23, and 24. Ticket and other information is available on our Facebook page.

Caligari is a seminal, iconic film, and if you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so. Fortunately certain versions of it are in the public domain, so even if you can't attend the performance, you can stream the entire film online. (After our performance is recorded, we plan to post it to the Chatterbox website synced up with the film. So you'll be able to enjoy our interpretation no matter where in the world you are.)

"Pick you up at 7:30?"

The bizarre, compelling look of the film complements its bizarre, compelling story. The mad Doctor Caligari arrives in a small town with his mysterious cabinet, in which lives the sleepwalker Cesare. Cesare awakens only long enough to tell fortunes as part of Caligari's act at the fair. At night, however, Cesare remains under Caligari's command, and the two commit a series of shocking crimes that bring our hero Francis to the edge of sanity.

Caligari has a strong reputation among cinema buffs and has inspired several generations of filmmakers. (Look at any still of Cesare, for example, and you'll recognize Tim Burton's inspiration for Edward Scissorhands.) Yet it remains relatively little-seen.

Several live soundtracks have been created for the film, but as far as I know they're all purely instrumental. Audio theater icon Yuri Rasovsky adapted the story to audio back in 1998, but while the production is worth hearing, it's independent from the film and its approach is substantially different. In short, then, I don't know of anyone who has attempted a full-length, full-cast soundtrack like the one Chatterbox is producing.

So don't miss it! I'll be proud if our show introduces people to this amazing film -- not to mention the intricate, high-energy performance we're developing to accompany it. Come on out, and bring your friends. We'd love to see you there.

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