One of the events we were most sorry to miss while away was the workshop premiere of A CHECKROOM ROMANCE by cartoonist/storyteller Ben Katchor and musician Mark Mulcahy. The duo have collaborated on two previous theatrical pieces, which have won rave reviews. Well, we couldn’t do, but luckily, Brian Heaterfilled in with a post at the Daily Crosshatch:

The South Court auditorium is located underground—downstairs at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building, the recently renamed centralized headquarters for the New York Public Library famously guarded by two stoic stone lions. On Friday night the room was host to the second sold out night of A Checkroom Romance, a music-comedy—or, perhaps more appropriately a pop-music opera. It’s hard to figure out exactly what to call the performance, really, as it seemed to really exist in a class of its own—a stage show without precedent, really, save perhaps by the previous production of its creators, Julius Kniple artist Ben Katchor and former frontman of Miracle Legion (and later Pete & Pete houseband, Polaris) turned composer, Mark Mulcahy.

It sounds like quite an evening; we’re seeing more and more of this live slideshow/music/performance/cartoon crossover stuff as comics become more influential. If anyone knows how to do it, it’s Katchor, whose sense of humor and drama is sui generis.


  1. I saw the show on Wednesday–sheer genius. Perhaps even better than The Rosenbach Company, their second production.

    Now I’m craving lasagne biryani from the Menanpoor Restaurant followed by an evening at the Observatory of the Human Limp.

  2. A CD/booklet of “The Carbon Copy Building” is available on BN.com.

    In 1991, Charles Burns teamed with the Mark Morris Dance Company to design “The Hard Nut”, a retelling of The Nutcracker. His artwork graces the cover of the DVD.

    Nothing new, really… Marc Chagall designed costumes for Balancine’s version of “The Firebird Suite”, Maurice Sendak designed the Nutcracker…

  3. Torsten’s comparison with artists’ set designs isn’t correct. In this production the artist himself wrote the libretto and he and the composer together created an original piece of work.