Hollowbody Electric Band to perform concert version of their rock opera “One Way Trip to Mars”
On Tuesday evening, September 19, Hollowbody Electric Band returns to the tiny Drummore Bay Concert Hall in Phippsburg, to perform a concert version of their rock opera, “One Way Trip to Mars,” which opened to standing ovations at the Waterville Opera House at the end of August. Drummore Bay Concert Hall is located next to the Phippsburg Post Office at 516 Main Road (Rt. 209). Tickets are $20, and reservations are recommended (call 446-7199).
“One Way Trip to Mars,” written by local band leaders and songwriters Peter Alexander and Johannah Harkness, tells a fictional story, set in 2033, of the first humans to travel to Mars amidst cataclysmic events occurring on Earth. The story has all the elements of a classical Greek tragedy or Shakespearian play, but is told entirely through the contemporary medium of rock music.
The theatrical premiere, directed by Dennis St. Pierre at the Waterville Opera House, featured an 11-member New York cast, 8-piece rock orchestra, full stage sets and cinematic lighting. “After such a huge production, we are looking forward to the simplicity and intimacy of the Drummore Bay Concert Hall,” said Alexander, “Where the entire focus will be on the music.”
Alexander and Harkness began working on “One Way Trip to Mars” three years ago after learning about the Netherlands-based Mars-One Program, which proposes to create a human colony on Mars within the next decade. Over 200,000 individuals have volunteered for the program. “We were intrigued that so many people were willing to leave behind everything on Earth—including spouses and children—to go on the one-way mission,” said Harkness, “And I was particularly interested in what it would be like to be the ones left behind. That idea inspired me to write the first song, “It Catches Up to You,” which is now the final song of the opera.”
For the concert performance at the Drummore Bacy Concert Hall Alexander and Harkness will be joined by their long-time band mates from Hollowbody Electric Band, including Joe Beninati on drums, Parker Kenyon on bass, and Courtney Babbidge on keyboards.
For Tuesday evening’s concert, doors open at 6:45, and music starts at 7:15 PM. More information is available at drummorebayconcerthall.com.
Listen to Charlie Gaylord’s great interview with Peter Alexander and Fantine about “One Way Trip to Mars.” The good stuff starts at 16:30 into the show.
Tickets for the Waterville premiere (August 24 – 27) are still available at www.operahouse.org
Standing ovations for all three premiere performances of “One Way Trip to Mars,” at the Chocolate Church Arts Center September 30 – October 2 and at the Frontier Theater in Brunswick, January 21. Next performance will be as a fully-produced piece for Musical Theater at the Waterville Opera House, August 24 – 27. The show will be directed, and has been re-worked for musical theater, by Dennis St. Pierre.
“Hollowbody Electric Band is everything that the modern music business isn’t: they’re exciting and fresh; they cross countless genres; they’re not afraid of being different; they’re creative and inventive; and on a performance level they’re extremely addictive to listen to.” —Steve Shephard, One World Music Radio
Here’s are a couple of video excerpts from the show’s premiere performance of September 30, 2016: