Selfie, the Musical
by Vortex Repertory Theatre
Apr. 01 - Apr. 17, 2022
This whimsical and profound new musical by Rembert Block, directed by Bonnie Cullum, grapples with identity, image, and narcissism. Featuring live music by the Brooklyn-based band, Rembert and the Basic Goodness as the Influencers. Featuring Ugly Selfie Girl, Dude Face, Chasing Sunsets.
The VORTEX in association with Ethos presents
the world premiere of
Selfie! The Musical
by Rembert Block
Directed by Bonnie Cullum
The 21st-century Selfie phenomenon has rapidly evolved from 2013 word of the year to a social media foundation to ubiquitous activity to strange tragedy. The VORTEX presents the Ethos-commissioned World Premiere of Selfie! The Musical-- a new musical by Rembert Block, directed by Bonnie Cullum, debuting at The VORTEX on April 1 for a 3-week run.
A rash of selfie-cides arouse the attention of the ultimate Influencers--the Gods. “What are those silly humans doing to themselves now”?! Fascinated, the Influencers set up a purgatory lab where they set out to investigate several humans who have accidentally killed themselves while taking selfies: Ugly Selfie Girl, Dude Face, and Mr. and Mrs. Chasing Sunsets. Why do some people risk death to snap themselves at a cliff’s edge, on train tracks, or while driving? And what does this dopamine-driven, attention-seeking addiction say about social media and wider society? As this whimsical and profound new musical unfolds, they grapple with the cultural and psychological currents underlying this new epidemic: identity, image, and narcissism. Will they cling to their manufactured identities or seek authentic human connections? But wait . . . can we post to Insta from the Underworld?
Feature published in Woman about Town, February 23, 2022
Selfie! The Musical features live music by the Brooklyn-based band, Rembert and the Basic Goodness as the Influencers–Rembert Block (Vocals and Accordion), Russell Alderson (Vocals and Bass), Jeff Hudgins (Sax), and Jagoda (Drums). Also starring Austin performers Allegra Jade Fox as Ugly Selfie Girl, Keyshaan Castle as Dude Face, and Eryn Gettys and Trey Deason as Chasing Sunsets.
Written by Rembert Block. Directed by Bonnie Cullum. Choreography by Sandie Donzica. Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony. Costume Design by Pam Friday. Sound Design by Johann Solo. Projection Design by Jose Lozano. Photography by Errich Petersen. Stage Manager, Tamara L. Farley. Assistant Director, Blaise Ricin. Assistant Stage Manager, Jelena Stojilkovic Rhynes. Assistant Designers: Demetri Bellini, Adam Gunderson, Dow Zabolio.Production Manager, Katie Hamilton. Ethos Artistic Director, Chad Salvata. Managing Director and Graphic Design, Melissa Vogt. Director of Finance, Krystle Cline. Producing Artistic Director Bonnie Cullum.
Selfie! The Musical is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, Ethos, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
About Rembert & the Basic Goodness:
Rembert & the Basic Goodness is a Brooklyn-based cabaret-pop band known for originality, sophistication, and humor. The band was founded by Rembert Block in 2016 and evolved into the current and definitive group it is today, featuring Russell Alderson on bass and vocals, Jagoda on drums, Jeff Hudgins on saxophone and vocals, and Rembert Block, lead vocals and accordion. Block’s vivid, psychologically-oriented poetry is set in her catchy, surprising melodies. Each band member brings their unique virtuosity to the songs, creating an organic and dramatic sound. Rembert & the Basic Goodness released their debut recording Stay Plastic in 2018 and the single Torture Bitch in 2021. Selfie Songs, songs from Selfie! The Musical will be widely released in April 2022.
About Rembert Block:
Rembert Block is a Texas-born, Brooklyn based vocalist, writer and accordionist. In addition to her work with the Basic Goodness, Block collaborates, performs and records with many NYC-based musicians, recently including Bubble, i$h, metafizz and The Karen Haglof Band. Block is a core member of the critically acclaimed tribute band Murderers’ Row and a backing vocalist for calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow. Her Austin performances in the late-90’s include her award-winning roles in Ethos’ cybernetic operas and her original show, Beauty Vultures and the Plague of Sleep.
About Bonnie Cullum:
Bonnie Cullum co-founded The VORTEX in 1988, creating and presenting hundreds of innovative productions with an ensemble of artists. Her artistic work includes world premiere musicals, operas, plays, and ritual theatre. She earned an MFA in Directing (University of Texas) and a BA in Theatre (University of Kansas). Honored three times as Austin’s Best Director by the Austin Chronicle, Cullum has been nominated for dozens of outstanding directing awards, winning The Critics’ Table Award for The Future of Theatre for Performance Park and B. Iden Payne Awards for Best Director for Troades: The Legend of the Women of Troy, Moby Dick, and Despair's Book of Dreams and the Sometimes Radio. She founded the Summer Youth Theatre in 1991 to provide theatre opportunities for youth. She was inducted into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame in 2009.
April 01 - April 17, 2022
Everywhere, TX, 78700
April 1-17, 2022 | VORTEX World Premiere
Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 6 p.m.
Livestream on April 7, 2022; ticket $9.99, available online HERE.
When: April 1-17, 2022
Preview: March 31
Live-streaming: Thursday, April 7
ASL-Interpreted: Saturday, April 9
Industry Night: Wednesday, April 13
Required Safety Protocols: Masks and Proof of up-to-date vaccination
Where: The VORTEX, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722
On the Eloise Brooks Cullum Stage @ The VORTEX
Free Parking. Bus Route. The Butterfly Bar @ The VORTEX opens nightly at 5pm with hand-crafted cocktails and snacks. Patrizi’s @ The VORTEX opens nightly at 5pm with delicious homemade Italian food.
$37 Priority Seating
$27 General Admission
www.vortexrep.org or 512-478-5282
Advanced Reservations Recommended. Limited seating.
Blue Star Theatre: Discounts for Military, Veterans, and their families.
2-for-1 admission with donation of 2 cans for SAFE Austin (Wed. Thurs. Sun.)
Radical Rush Free Tickets: Limited free tickets for each performance in the spirit of sustainability, accessibility, and the gift economy. Radical Rush tickets released one hour before the show each night--in-person only.