Love Sick: A Rock Opera

Carla Jablonski, Georgia Haege, Roy Hage and Jessica Fishenfeld star in Ideation Productions’ Love Sick, now on stage at National Sawdust in Williamsburg. Original photo courtesy of the company.

By Andrew Andrews

Half a century ago, a British psychedelic band with the unfortunate name Nirvana created the world’s first rock opera, The Story of Simon Simopath.

The next year, The Pretty Things released S. F. Sorrow.

One year later, The Who’s fourth studio album, Tommy, became the world’s most famous rock opera, after being developed for the stage by the Seattle Opera, orchestrated by Lou Reizner, released as a screenplay in 1975 and eventually reaching Broadway in 1992.

There have been others, of course, and the line that separates a rock opera from a musical is far from dark and solid. But most have one thing in common: they sound a lot more like rock than opera.

Georgia Shreve’s Love Sick is different.

Unlike the typical rock opera, which tells a story through a series of rock songs, Love Sick tells the story of Paul (Roy Hage) and his rebound relationship with Kate (Jessica Fishenfeld), through a virtually nonstop barrage of operatic arias, recitativo and ensembles.

We’re talking thirty-five songs, people—and all in English, so you can understand what the hell is going on!

Now, before you worry that thirty-five songs means you’re in for the long haul, we should mention that the entire production clocks in at right around seventy minutes, so you don’t have to worry about falling asleep before the start of the second act!

The highlight of this production is its performers: Hage and Fishenfeld are joined onstage by Timothy McDevitt, Cameron Bartell, Carla Jablonski, Georgia Haege and Edith Grossman, and the extensive backgrounds of these classically-trained vocalists mean that every note is delivered with utter perfection.

The accompaniment, provided by Contraband (William Day, Matthew Sheens, Hugh Stuckey, Nick West, Emily Brausa and Joshua Mark Samuels), is as tight as a pair of skinny jeans.

And the venue, National Sawdust, is as gorgeous as they come.

So check out Love Sick, then come back and tell us how much you enjoyed this innovative hybrid of opera and 4/4 beats.

Your reviews can help others decide whether Love Sick is the rock opera they’ve been waiting for, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!

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Andrew Andrews attended Love Sick: A Rock Opera at National Sawdust Main Hall in Brooklyn on Thursday, December 6, 2018 @ 7:30pm to write this review.

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