Bardcore Punk

Tightest Andronicus gets all gothed out

When Shakespeare proposed that music is the food of love, he very likely didn't have punk rock in mind. But if the food of love involves a mincemeat pie stuffed with two murderous princes and fed to their oblivious mother, then perhaps some ganglia-jangling tunes are occasioned. Take that fife and hautbois! In Titus X: The Musical writer-composer Shawn Northrip has adapted Shakespeare's most gruesome tragedy into a riot of three-chord progressions and Doc Marten–stomping bops. If some Elizabethan lyric is lost, Northrip has supplied a fair complement of visceral lines in its place. "Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy/That nice-preserved honesty of yours" gives way to "Lavinia/I wanna get in ya."

Northrip has doubtless written many other engaging rhymes (we did pick out "I've come to cut your throat/And catch your blood in a gravy boat"), but most of the performers have a hard time making themselves heard and understood over the noise of the band and the vocal demands of the songs. (Peter Schuyler in the title role is a notable exception.) Had we not taken grateful advantage of the large jar of earplugs perched on the ticketing table, we might have heard more. But at what headache-making cost? The production's vigor was contagious, but it came as something of a relief when the rest was silence.

 
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