This review of Sir Century & The Starling Darling at Under St. Mark's Theater was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 6 (2016) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!
Sir Century & The Starling Darling
Music & Story by Eisley Constantine
Directed by Took Edalow
Produced by Manchado
Quality Control by Henry Black
Super Staging by Nick Balls
Conceptual Aid by Jackson Sturkey
Under St. Mark's Theater
94 St. Mark's Place
New York, New York 10009
Sir Century & The Starling Darling, an Emo Indie Glam Pop Musical From Future Space, recently debuted on March 23, 2016 at The Bitter End. This Alternative Rock Space Musical, which takes place in the year 2345, was performed at Under St. Mark's Theater on May 23, 2016 to an audience so large people were sitting on steps, two rows of added folding chairs, and still that wasn't enough room to fit in the additional attendees, many of whom had to stand. The price of admission was $12.00 but a $3.00 discount was given at the door to anyone who wore "outlandish" space make-up, and many did! I enjoyed the songs presented in this musical that were performed live between scenes. The musical itself was interesting, innovative and entertaining. Many of the costumes were creative and clever. The Starling Darling, Sir Century's space ship, was nothing more than a broom wrapped in tin foil. When traveling together, Sir Century, from New Rome, and Prince Jerkbard, from Planet Desert, would shove the broom handle in between each other's legs to get that special lift that sent them soaring through space and feeling that special power.
While the story line needs some work, there were some interesting observations made about where we may be as a society in 300+ years. Supposedly, we are living longer. Hundreds of years longer according to this musical. But instead of using those years productively, gender ambiguous "nubile" young men are just spending more time at Space University earning their worthless bachelors' degrees. Sir Century, now 137 years old, spent 120 years of his life in college, where he dated Miss Millennia and spent the Stellar Solstice together with her. Now graduated, he has returned to his home planet to work for Roxo O'Donnell, a Commentator in the Conservative Command Center of Prop News (a parody of Fox News), a station committed to making certain the public "gets the information they want." Earth has been colonized by New Rome and Humans, including Doctor Decade, are denigrated for having "blank skin" - not painted or pierced in the fashion of the other alien members of interstellar society. Humans, now an oppressed and criticized galactic minority, have ceased making scientific advancements. Doctor Decade gave Sir Century the last great invention of his people, a 3-D printer with telepathic nodes attached to the processor that will make whatever you want using nothing but the atoms in the surrounding air.
The story is quite familiar. Miss Millennia breaks up with Sir Century because he isn't paying enough attention to her. Even the promise of a nice vacation on Europa isn't enough for her. She then begins to date Prince Jerkbard (women always prefer "jerks" over nice guys) of Planet Desert (where they still blow up children's nurseries and fruit factories). Sir Century gets jealous not knowing that his rival is Prince Jerkbard, his traveling companion, who tries to get him killed by mentioning where he works while they are visiting the Denzar Collective, an extreme socialistic commune, where everyone has blended their individual identities into a "single consciousness." Sir Century also visits a planet of Flower Children but during his exploration of the people living in "the 3rd galaxy," he doesn't come close to seeing many of the cultures who speak the 173 million languages spoken in the explored universe. In the end, Miss Millennia returns to him. The audience is given a choice whether Sir Century should be allowed to live or die a martyr. The overwhelming choice of the audience was to let Sir Century die but Jackson Sturkey, who played The Narrator, announced Sir Century would be permitted to live.
In this confusing and complex world, Sir Century was unable to decide who was right and who was wrong. After all his exploration and soul searching, he concluded that perhaps "there is no right and wrong - just differing opinions." He also realized that "no one has all the answers" and that "you shouldn't let anyone pretend they know more than you do." While we one day may be soaring in space, we'd do well to remind ourselves that we are still just infants, born blind but struggling for knowledge with the desire to make sense of the world around us. The one thing everyone in the cast could agree on is that "space is cool" and that they hope Sir Century & The Starling Darling is "destined to be immortalized as a future indie rock inspired science fiction spectacular."
The standout performer in this production was Jackson Sturkey, who played the Narrator, Doctor Decade and Bohemia Bill. Took Edalow was also essential to making this musical a success in her role as Miss Millennia and Eisley Constantine's music was well-featured leaving me eager to hear more. For more information about Sir Century & The Starling Darling, visit http://www.sircentury.com/