Mailing List Archive/2002-09-16

From This Might Be A Wiki

10pm EST Tonight's topic: Comb-overs- "no!" or "stop!"


PEOPLE ARE WRONG! with Flansburgh tonight, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 16, at Joe's Pub in the Public Theater: Two shows: 7:00 & 9:30 pm


Greetings from Flansburgh- Happy September everybody and greetings from Brooklyn! The official debut of "People Are Wrong!" at Joe's Pub (a small part of the very classy Public Theater) got off to a rip-roaring start last Monday and was previewed quite nicely in Time Out and The Village Voice (which I have pasted to the bottom of this email). We are back tonight and hope to see some TMBG folk out in force. Hedwig veteran Maggie Moore has just joined the cast and is tearing down the house with every show. I am also happy to report I have every song memorized and cannot get them out of my head. if you want to join me, download some free MP3s at I produced 'em all with the able help of the Loser's Lounge Band. The 10 song CD is out this week and available at

TMBG is heading out for a very unusual tour in October. In DC, Philly, Chicago and St. Paul we're doing "McSweeney's Shows" where we are going to be joined by the McSweeney's crew for an evening of spoken word and music. Editor and author Dave Eggers will be wrangling the writing talent. We'll be backing up some of the stories, and providing interstitial songs (some taken from the McSweeney's Issue 6 that we contributed a disc of music to) and then we'll do a set of music to wrap up the night. SPECIAL GUEST in DC is none other than our good pal Sarah Vowell. If you want to know more about McSweeney's they have a great site with new stories all the time at

Joining us on all the shows of the tour (hopefully) is a very exciting new band called the Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players They are an actual family. The young daughter plays the drums, while they sing original songs accompanying elaborate sets of "found" slides that they've recovered from oblivion at yard sales and flea markets. I think everyone will be talking about this most excellent show. Hope you can make it out.

TMBG's OCTOBER PLANS 10/18/02 Washington DC TMBG/McSweeney w/ Sarah Vowell and we're on Y100 morning show 10/19/02 Philadelphia TMBG/McSweeney 10/21/02 Ann Arbor, MI (regular gig) 10/22/02 Bloomington, IN (regular gig) 10/23/02 Madison, WI (regular gig) 10/24/02 St. Paul TMBG/McSweeney 10/25/02 Chicago TMBG/McSweeney 10/26/02 Chicago TMBG/McSweeney 10/28/02 Cleveland OH (regular gig) 10/28/02 Mystery Show somewhere! 10/29/02 Mystery Show somewhere! 10/30/02 Mystery Show somewhere! 10/31/02 Mystery Show somewhere!


Starting Friday September 20 COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE BROOKLINE, MA Gigantic has been booked for a two-week engagement. for details/showtimes or call Moviefone at 617-333-FILM for showtimes!

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Hot Springs, Arkansas Tues., Oct 15 at 10 A M, Sat., Oct 19 at 10 PM

Denver International Film Festival Denver, CO October 10-20 screening times to be announced

High Falls Film Festival, Rochester, NY Oct 30-Nov 3, screening times to be announced

St. Louis International Film Festival St. Louis, MO Nov 14-24 screening times to be announced

Gijon International Film Festival, Gijon, Spain. screening times to be announced November 21-29. Here's what TimeOut New York had to say about People Are Wrong!

Wrong Numbers by Andy Gensler The Loser's Lounge revives rock operas with People Are Wrong!

Could People Are Wrong! - the new rock opera making its concert debut this month at Joe's Pub - be the next Rent or Hedwig? As John Flansburgh, of They Might Be Giants and People's producer and co-star, explains, the show's frame of reference goes back a bit farther than John Cameron Mitchell or Joey Fatone. "The rock opera is an underexplored medium that peaked in the late '60s and '70s with Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, and Godspell," he says. "Considering how much everyone knows and loves those shows, it's surprising more people didn't pursue [the form] - they had such cool music and style. I think they're worth bringing back."

People Are Wrong! Is written, produced and performed entirely by members of the Loser's Lounge, the talent-rich New York City music tribute collective founded in 1993 by former Psychedelic Fur Joe McGinty. The troupe, which has released several CDs, produces a half dozen shows a year that pay musical homage to such cult icons as Dusty Springfield, Neil Diamond and Burt Bacharach.

Playing the lead, Xanthus, is David Driver (Rent), whose rich baritone reaches Elvis Costello-like brilliance. Other accomplished cast members include Maggie Moore (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Sean Altman (Rockapella), Tricia Scotti (the Ronnie Spector band) and Julia Greenberg (The Cowlicks and the show's coauthor). McGinty and Jeremy Chatzky, who played in Hedwig's band, are the show's co-musical directors. The plot revolves around two stressed-out yuppies known only as "the Homeowners" (Flansburgh and Greenberg), who purchase an upstate summer home in an attempt to escape their urban woes. Any hopes of bucolic tranquility, however, are dashed once the couple falls under the dark spell of Xanthus, their ponytailed gardener-cult leader. This New York story is based on a real-life incident that Flansburgh and his wife, coauthor Robin Goldwasser, experienced at their Catskill home. "There is a hidden economy upstate that consists of ripping off dopey New Yorkers," explains Flansburgh. "We needed to get some landscaping done and made the mistake of hiring this eccentric, New Age guy who, in the most benign way, was a rip-off artist."

Besides a commitment to the show, Goldwasser and Greenberg share a deep, dark secret: "We both went to theatre camp," Greenberg explains. "Everything I know about life I learned from Rodgers and Hammerstein: Racism I learned from South Pacific's 'You've Got to Be Carefully Taught'; gender issues from the Flower Drum Song's 'I Enjoy Being a Girl'; and love from The King and I's 'Something Wonderful'." All of which raises the question, how does Flansburgh, who comes from the hipster music scene, feel about entering the often cheesy world of musical theatre? "It is to my great regret," he says, "that for the first time in my 20 years of rock music, I now use the term razzle-dazzle on a regular basis."

And from the Village Voice:

Give 'Em an Angry Inch . . . The Losers' Lounge concerts have reinterpreted out-of-style auteurs of pop from Burt Bacharach to the Kinks, requisite cheek seldom outweighing respect. With People Are Wrong, the collective's first original production, they reinterpret an out-of-style form, the musical. Based on events in the life of chanteuse-about town Robin Goldwasser Might-Be Giant John Flansburgh (playing Homeowner Russ here with brio), the play involves a pair of chic "bright-lighters" with a new slice of paradise'a foreclosed farm in the Catskills of ashrams and Woodstock burnouts. A local cult leader cum holistic landscaper sets about turning their rustic sanctuary into the launch pad for his sixth-dimensional delusions. Joe's Pub wouldn't be hosting a new musical (Mondays in September) without the breakout of Hedwig, but writers Goldwasser and Julia Greenberg are nobody's bandwagon. Hedwig was rock opera, Tommy and Ziggy via Cabaret. People is true musical theater, an exurban Oklahoma as much as an atheist Godspell, changing song forms to fit the story. Greenberg sings Homeowner Terri with a rich sweet-n-sour alto, and Goldwasser is gloriously melancholic as spooky Joyce, manager of the Agway. As gardener Xanthus's disciples, Loungers Tricia Scotti, Connie Petruk, and Sean Altman smart-bomb every note. The band, directed by bassist Jeremy Chatzky, is as Kinky as they wanna be. There's even a scary moment when People's metaphysical conflict threatens to make the viewer take sides. Xanthus's eschatology may be all wrong, but "The Beyond Ballet" reminds us darkly that materialism is also a form of denial. We're talking life and death, folks. Then comes the final "Oh," the whole cast with arms and voices raised high, and you could float on into the

sixth dimension yourself. It's a musical, for Godspell's sake. -David Krasnow