Our favorite new projects this week are all, in one way or another, about epic fantasy. We have your token Game of Thrones reference (yes, we know you have all been watching), your Youtube music star turned real-life pop phenomenon (if that’s not an epic fantasy fully realized, than what is?!), and, even, a play with a wildly ambitious political agenda that could be a fantasy-come-true for a few brave, outspoken social activists/playwrights. Check ‘em out!
As playwright James Lantz and his silent wingman Dostie announce, Berlington Vemont’s The Bus is making its Off-Broadway debut at 59E59 Theaters this fall. Then they’re headed to Off-Off-Off-Off-Broadway, i.e. as close as they can physically get to the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Following the forbidden love of two teen boys who meet secretly in a parked church bus late at night, The Bus explores and explodes the intersection of “a family, a small town, and a very very big church.” Jim Lantz will stage his play as close as possible to the infamous church that has picketed military funerals and schools nationwide, for as Lantz sees it, “if Westboro Baptist Church can come to our town, we can go to theirs.” What happens when creative vision, self-identity, small town tension, and national rights collide, Lantz and The Bus are fearless proof that art doesn’t just imitate life. Sometimes art needs to intimidate, too. — Elisabeth H.
When I logged in this morning there was a brand new face on our Discover page. A pretty lady named Julia Nunes apparently launched a project over the weekend, shot way past her goal in 24 hours, and now, almost two days in, has raised almost double her goal of $15,000. She’s raised $28k at the time of writing. So who is this girl I’ve never heard of besides someone who is clearly comfortable in front of her Photobooth app? She is indeed that most fascinating (to me) brand of internet success story: the charming, young, ukelele Y Youtube phenomenon. And phenomenon, I believe, is the most appropriate word here. Her voice is lovely, her energy is such that I forgot to have coffee this morning and I still feel okay, and her straight hustle has landed her opening gigs for the likes of Bens Folds and Kweller. This is the kind of thing that makes me excited about the internet, and excited for Julia Nunes, who would be nothing without you. — Meaghan O.
Like all good LOTR fans, you probably re-watch the trilogy every six months or so, reliving the epic journey to Mordor, marveling at how silky Legolas’ hair looks, and thinking how cool it is that Boromir is the same as Ned Stark in A Game of Thrones. In other words, epic fantasy is never that far off your radar, which is why you should click play above and delve into the indie-metal brutality of the Outlaws of Ravenhurst. Transported into the 21st century by an evil wizard, these young knights are on a mission to bring chivalry to the masses, armed only with axes, heroism, and wit. I’m usually the first to be skeptical when a band claims they’ve traveled through time to revive the ancient art of chivalry, but I listened to their tracks on bandcamp and it sounds legit. — Cindy A.
“Mason Jar Music Presents” is a video concert series that pairs talented musicians with original orchestral arrangements to make pretty, pretty music that looks really, really good. It is a sensory overload of amazingness. Plus, the two guys who are making this happen provide us an original ditty at the end. See it, love it, back it. That’s all I gotta say. — Cassie M.
In the age of broken links and photoshopped everything, TEEN WITCH magazine exists to put the warped digital realm that tends to exist solely on social networks, comment sections, message boards, Twitter, etc, into a twisted, psychedelic physical publication ripe for kids who categorize their style as “gucci goth.” Inspired by the wormhole of sub-culturess the internet provides a home to, TEEN WITCH aims to give a place for trans youth teens to shine. I been following the RATCATCHER, TEEN WITCH tumblr identities for a while, so it’s amazing to see them take the warped zones of their digital lives and put them into the physical world. — Mike M.