If you're in the DC area, c'mon out to a staged reading of a new play featuring the music of Jon Langford
Nero/Pseudo is a mash up of ancient Rome and glam rock that features music by punk/alternative country legend Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers) and acclaimed songwriter/guitarist Jim Elkington (Jon Langford's Skull Orchard,The Zincs, The Horse's Ha).
Langford and Elkingtom will be playing the music at the May 30 staged reading.
The reading is on Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m. at Artisphere's Dome Theatre (1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington VA 22209
Nero/Pseudo: A Synopsis
A naked fake emperor. Glam rock. A head in a box. That's Nero/Pseudo -- a new play by Richard Byrne.
Nero/Pseudo takes its inspiration from a passage in Tacitus' Histories, in which a man with an uncanny physical resemblance to the emperor Nero (and skill in playing the lyre) took Greece by storm a few months after the real Nero's suicide in 69 AD. Not only did the fake Nero cause mass tumult before he was captured and executed -- but the notion that Nero might actually return to rule again was fuel for apocalyptic writers in Jewish and Christian sects of that era (including The Book of Revelation).
But Nero/Pseudo isn't a period piece. Byrne mashes up classical literature with glam rock, political cults of celebrity, a healthy dollop of sex and a newly-imagined version of Nero's famous poem on the Fall of Troy. All but three lines of the original Nero poem have been lost, so the playwright's new version casts as much an eye on contemporary politics as it does on Trojans and Greeks.
Read about the collaboration in the Washington City Paper HERE.
HERE'S a sneak peek to one of the tracks