Desperately Seeking the Exit: Online Live | In 2007, American actor/writer Peter Michael Marino wrote a musical based on the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan, featuring the hit songs of Blondie. It opened on London’s West End… and closed a month later. Whoops!
This high-octane, comical solo train ride fills in the blanks of how the $6 million musical was made and unmade. From hatching the idea, to deals with producers, MGM, Debbie Harry, and even Madonna… all the way to thrilling workshops, dangerous previews, scathing reviews, closing night, and beyond. Experience this notorious award-winning tale LIVE on your computer.
Wednesday matinee, April 1 at 2pm
Thursday, April 2 at 7pm
Saturday, April 4 at 7pm
Sunday, April 5 at 7pm
Tickets are $10. To order, click here.
Runtime: 65-minutes. You will need to join the live stream 15 minutes before its start time (you cannot join the start time). Upon ticket purchase, you will get an email with a confirmation of your purchase. On the day of the event, you will get an email with Zoom login info. No refunds for latecomers or audio/video issues on your end.
Q&A with Peter Michael Marino
Scott Stiffler, for Chelsea Community News: It’s been a musical, a solo show based on your experiences, and an all-star staged reading. What can audiences expect from this live, digital version?
Peter Michael Marino: I’m actually only going to be doing the digital extended version sporadically. While the last three “bonus footage” performances were seen by around 200 people around the world, I’m finding that even I have a hard time watching a live show on my computer screen for 90 minutes. But, it’s been an exciting new adventure, talking to an audience not in the same room as me. I think what audiences can expect is a new kind of storytelling experience. It is similar to theater in the round, because the audience can watch each other and watch me at the same time. I let my audience keep the microphones on so that I can hear their responses, which is especially important for a comedy. And my fragile ego. If only I could get some of them to not unwrap candy in front of their microphone.
CCN: What has the impact been on artists bereft of public performance options, and what can we do to support them during COVID-19 self-quarantining?
PMM: Clearly there is a lot of experimentation going on. I’ve noticed that audiences are very patient when it comes to technical snafus. We are all truly learning this brand-new thing at the same time… and this new thing is being quarantined while finding new ways to connect with people. I think for artists, we want to do something right away, and for many solo performers like myself, we are so used to producing our own work that we are all finding ways to continue producing it online. But for many performers who are used to being in plays, they don’t have an easy outlet for their passion. So, it’s both a creative time for some and a frustrating time for many others.
CCN: Let yourself go, or step up your game: What are you doing, at home in Chelsea, during this period of social distancing (aka isolation)?
PMM: As a complicated human being, I am both letting myself go and stepping up my game. I find that I can fill an entire day being incredibly creative and making plans, and then the next day being incredibly exhausted and fearful about what to do next. So far I’ve converted my tiny apartment office into a tiny television studio where I plan to broadcast live performances of my family friendly show, Show Up, Kids! It hasn’t been as easy adapting that stage show for the screen as Desperately, but since we are all in this for the long haul, I would rather take my time and experiment so that I am putting quality work out there. I am thinking about painting my bedroom. But where does one get paint?!
CCN: Please feel free to discuss anything on your mind not covered in the above questions.
PMM: The only other thing I would add is that I think it’s really important that artists take the time to present their online work the same way they would prepare to present their stage work. It’s important to write, and to edit, and to collaborate. It’s important to experiment and do trial runs with small groups. It’s almost like having previews and ironing out the bumps. We are pioneers in this new digital domain, and if we want it to be a valid form of entertainment beyond this pandemic, we must strive to make the work as professional and engaging as possible.
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