The Residents, the pioneering American art collective that began in the 70s, are best known for their avant-garde music, multimedia works, and iconoclastic eyeball helmets, worn with top hats and tuxedos. Their music videos were some of the first to appear on MTV and they have somehow managed to keep their identities a secret all these years (they always perform in masks). This weekend they will bring their latest work-in-progress, a one-man musical theater event titled Sam’s Enchanted Evening, to Abrons Arts Center.
The show, described as “the story of one man’s floundering journey through a wasted life consumed by years of pathetic self-deception, unrequited desire, and rock ‘n’ roll,” will be performed by The Residents lead singer, Randy Rose (performing in character). Set against a cycle of aggressively deconstructed American pop songs, it promises to be a “relentless, violent mash-up of laughter, pain, and elusive redemption, sometimes all in a single song.”
In the four decades since the group burst onto the conceptual art scene with its first self-titled album in 1972, they’ve released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, toured around the world seven times, scored multiple films, and won several awards for their multimedia projects. As world renowned as they are—their early videos are also part of the permanent collection in the Museum of Modern Art— they will always be known as underground American masters.
Directed by Travis Chamberlain (Tennessee William’s GREEN EYES).
Written and Produced by The Residents. Musical Direction by Joshua Raoul Brody.
March 24 – 27 // $25 //7:30pm // 466 Grand Street.