By David Walters
If you don’t know of it (and why should you as it was before your time), Ovid’s Metamorphosis (written about AD 5 and tells the history of the world from the beginning up until Julius Caesar), contains about 250 different stories. One of them is the myth about the sisters Procne and Philomela.
The Kilbanes are a San Francisco-based rock group that bills themselves as a theatrical rock band, giving themes to the music they play that go far beyond modern everyday comings and goings of longing, loving, and despair and delve into ancient myths, extrapolating longing, loving, and despair to create a poetry that goes beyond music and storytelling.
There are different levels in their performance of Weightless, now playing at WP theater until October 16, that gives it meaning and strength far beyond a musical performance. Using the themes of the powers of the Gods and sisterhood, taken from the myth of Procne and Philomela, they have created a rock opera that will bring you in with its melodies, dueling guitars, joyful storytelling, and pitch-perfect harmonies that will pluck at your ears, your eyes, your heart.
Ovid’s original myth of the sisters is entirely gruesome (click the link above for the full tale), and liberties have been taken in the storytelling, but the strong themes are retained and a universal humanity is instilled in the piece that is highlighted by the powerful presence of Kofi Brown as a narrator god, Iris, looking down from the heavens observing and enjoying the goings on of us tiny humans who all look the same from on high. She whimsically assists and sometimes hinders the mortals, all the while incredulous of how we behave. Her deep comments about humanity and what she sees add multiple layers to the evening making it more than a musical telling of a tale. “How can you approach life with an open heart knowing that you’re gonna lose?”
The siblings, played by Blue and Kilbane, blend perfectly both as voices and as sisters with a deep love for each other. Their connection is palpable as they sing the song Come to Me and hand-in-hand carry the soul of the evening together.
Weightless is definitely worth your time and attention.
“From way up high we look all the same, but down close and in person, we are unique.”
Directed by Tamilla Woodward and choreographed by nicHi Douglas (beautiful job by both), Weightless will play a limited engagement from September 17 – October 16, 2022 at WP Theater (2162 Broadway).
Starring Kate Kilbane and Dan Mosesare, they are The Kilbanes, and traveling alongside them are Lila Blue (Philomela, a beautiful voice and presence, someone to watch), Kofy Brown (Iris/Percussion), Dan Harris (Percussion), and Joshua Pollock (Tereus/Guitar, is formidable as both), Set Design is by Peiyi Wong, Costume Design is by Dina El-Aziz, Lighting Design is by Stacey Derosier, Sound Design is by Joanna Lynn Staub, and Projection Design is by Johnny Moreno
As always, this is just one man’s opinion in a world filled with them.