Part of FringeNYC: From fetish profiles to secret loves, we're all in the closet about something. Johnny Darlin performs his electro-rock catalog alongside dancers, video artists, poets and storytellers in an arena-style pop spectacle asking: what does it take to finally come out? More…
Categories: Multi-Media, Musical/Opera, Local. From Johnny Darlin and the Queer South. Written by Michael Doshier, Music by Johnny Darlin, Francis Steakknife, & Gandor Chorale, additional writing by The Queer South.
FROM THE ARTIST:
Johnny Darlin and the Queer South are proud to present the WORLD PREMIERE of Johnny Darlin: In the Closet as part of the 20th annual New York International Fringe Festival. It will open on August 14th at 12:30pm, then run August 16th at 7:00pm, August 17th at 5:30pm, August 24th at 6:00pm, and August 26th at 9:00pm. All performances take place at DROM located at 85 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009.
Growing up a fan of the arena pop spectacles of Britney Spears and *NSYNC, multimedia artist Johnny Darlin has spent years wondering what his version of this art form would be like. Not quite a musical, not quite a concert, Johnny Darlin: In the Closet is his reckoning with this life-long question.
What follows is a live concept album retelling Darlin’s southern Baptist coming out story from childhood revelations to first celebrity crush to sending his first nude picture, but broadened by the coming-of-age experiences of the wider queer population. Live music, dance, video projection art and home videos, monologues, prose, and poetry by both closeted and out LGBTQ people from all over the country take center stage and help relay the story of Johnny Darlin’s modern pop catalog. The end result is a cohesive, inclusive, yet complicated tale of identity and growth focused on growing up an outsider, secret desires, loves, fetishes, and sexual awakenings. It infers that everyone has something they’re hiding and begs the question: “What does it take to come out?,” while Johnny Darlin does this exact thing, once and for all, live on stage.
Johnny Darlin: In The Closet features live music from Johnny Darlin, Francis Steakknife, Mahin Salman, Pincha Jones, and Brooklyn punk trio Gandor Chorale. It is choreographed by Pia Vinson, fresh off her work with Samantha Urbani, and features dancing by Quenton Stuckey and Alberte Nilausen. Live video art will be performed by Johnny Darlin and JPEGSTRIPES. Storytelling will be presented by over fifteen dramatists collectively known as “The Queer South.”
For more information, please visit: johnnydarlin.com/in-the-closet.
"Darlin’s pacing is seamless, his music is thoroughly sharp and fantastical, and his story is excellently balanced in all its forms. The artists grapple with many mediums throughout this show and execute them all tremendously...Each individual element operates beautifully as its own piece, but when together, they inform and challenge the surface interpretation of the individual. Before 'Johnny Darlin,' I have not seen another performer so successfully claim queerness as subversive power. " Full Review
"Providing more of a story within the already extraordinary material will absolutely enhance this production. We can see there’s a story inside Johnny, it’s time for the story to come out! The desire for more comes from the fact that Michael Doshier as Johnny Darlin is raw talent. He is a profound storyteller and an astonishing vocalist who doesn’t need to hide behind any autotune...This team should be proud of the physical product. If the goal of a concert is to entertain, they succeeded." Full Review
"Disappointingly, the theatrical concert 'Johnny Darlin: In the Closet' is primarily about that most vanilla of closets (in 2016): being gay...A serious sound-balance issue drowns Johnny's delicate falsetto, obscuring most of the lyrics…The barrage of audiovisual stimulation is bound to make anyone who was born before the first Clinton administration feel old. There's definitely a place for Johnny's unapologetic poptacular, but one doubts that the Fringe is it." Full Review
See it if You hunger for a super queer extravaganza that poses important questions about coming out. Also see it for the incredible video art!
Don't see it if You can't handle hot, sweaty dancing