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Starring a mix of Broadway veterans, including Aaron Ramey (Kiss Me Kate, The Bridges of Madison County) and Anne Tolpegin (Kinky Boots, Sweeny Todd), A DRINK WITH DEATH leads a group of curiously morbid travelers on a journey to the underworld. Lead by La Muerte, and her lovable sidekick, El Diablito, as they hear a handful of lost souls who, faced with their own demise, must plead their case and await final judgment.
TMMTS: Episode 004
Running Time: 78 Minutes
Content Advisory: This musical comedy contains mature themes, adult references, and language that is not suitable for a younger audience.
Christian DeGré Cardenas
Creating A Drink with Death
Following the launch of Mind The Art's seven deadly sins cycle, a collection of contemporary adult fable operettas including the critically acclaimed FATTY FATTY NO FRIENDS and WHISKEY PANTS: THE MAYOR OF WILLIAMSBURG, our creative team decided to embark on an off-beat song cycle. The idea was to work collaboratively with poets, spoken word artists, novelists and lyricists on creating pieces about what they thought would happen the moment someone died. We began a partnership with famed Broadway club Feinstein's/54 Below to present the work in volumes. So far Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 have been presented with Vol. 3 scheduled for the 2019 season. The overall goal is to present 100 viewpoints on death, telling stories from people of all walks of life about what those final moments (or the ones right after) look like for them.
As a Mexican artist, I am culturally inclined to look at death in a humorous light. Pulling from the traditions of Dia De Los Muertos, Diego Rivera's murals and Latin folklore we decided that the best conduit for such a work would be a larger than life host. We created the character of La Muerte aka Lady Death, a joyful and endearing Lordess of the underworld who would create the premise for the show. She would invite an audience into the underworld and then collectively decide the fates of the poor souls. If she liked their story then they would go to whatever heavenesque afterlife they believed them, if she disliked it, or couldn't help herself in further torturing them, they would remain in her domain forever. All the while she would pound tequilas back in celebration of their torment and demise.
The work has so far been created in collaboration with 26 musicians, 19 writers, and over 30 performers and we have only explored 28 of the final 100 pieces to date. The soundscape embraces many musical forms including Opera, Musical Theater, Folk, Pop, Rock, Disco, Jazz, Latin, Tone Poetry, Calypso, Rap and Hip-Hop, with lyrical collaborations with members from those fields. The stylistic tone ranges from art songs about longing and regret to belted songs about seeing nothing but darkness and feeling the cold of death to comedic songs about pooping to death and having an orgasm on your death bed.
This Micro-Musical Theater Show rendition pulls 10 of these pieces from our collection. It is our sincere hope that one day before YOU die that you may hear all 100.
Viva la Muerte!
An extended interview with Christian by Julian Fleisher (The Naked American Songbook) is in the works.