Flowers Are Sleeping
Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space
Symphony Space Music
WORLD PREMIERE! This R&B-pop-music theatre work by Eisa Davis is a fantasy about the contemporary art world inspired by the artistic and intellectual leaders who peopled the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance.
Larsen is an extraordinarily talented artist who, at the start, is an enigma, but who is just beginning to be sought out by curators, galleries and museums.
Fauset is a curatorial assistant at an established art gallery; she is also an art-blogger. She is fascinated with and fixated on Larsen and wants to get her contracted at the gallery. Fauset wants to become known as the one who puts Larsen on the map.
Van Locke also works at the gallery and is in direct competition with Fauset to find and sign great new talent. The two are rivals, but Van Locke is more of a shark.
WEB and Carny Jean are played by one actor. WEB is the spirit of W.E.B. Du Bois, and is seen and heard only by Larsen, who conjures him at will. WEB gives advice to Larsen. Carny Jean is another up and coming artist, with more mainstream appeal. He creates performance-based installations for the gallery and was signed by Van Locke.
The show unfolds through a menu of songs including the title song, "Flowers Are Sleeping," as well as numbers such as" Turn Out The Light," "Clear House," "Black Girl Bullet," "The Souls of Black Folk," "Don't Know Nothing About the Blues," and more. The rivalry between Fauset and Van Locke to sign Larsen plays out, with Van Locke ultimately winning the competition, irking Fauset, who turns against Larsen, the artist she believed in, and whom she had first discovered. Time passes, and Fauset tries to reconcile with Larsen. She discovers that Van Locke and Larsen have become a couple, and that Larsen has given up making art for consumption to remain at home with him as its own kind of art. This makes Fauset even more heartbroken, but this emotion soon transforms into the desire she's had all along: to make art herself.
Book, music, and lyrics by Eisa Davis
Directed by Liesl Tommy
Larsen .............................. Eisa Davis
Fauset............................... Nicole Lewis
Van Locke........................ Dashiell Eaves
WEB/Carny Jean............ Darius de Haas
Eisa Davis, piano
Jon Spurney, guitar
Nicholas Rolfe, keyboards
Mark Vanderpoel, bass
Sydney Lamont Driver, drums
"Her ability to interweave all of her passions---language and performing, in addition to music and politics---singles Davis out as a one-of-a-kind artist." -American Theatre