Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter (Original Concept CD) A FOOTLIGHT EXCLUSIVE!


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I just saw this one. The reviewer below mentions it could have gone either way – good or bad – I vote that MUSICALLY it went very well indeed. And isn’t that all that really matters. The songs – as performed – are in the rock music vein or style, so you really have to enjoy a certain level of pop/rock sound to enjoy this, but if you enjoy a good pop/rock musical (and I think that includes most of us) you will enjoy this one very much indeed. (Touch the tip of that sentence it would never stop rocking. Get me an editor STAT!) 


It is the kind of show that will be talked about in New York theatre circles for years to come as it was mind-blowing in so many ways! If this were a new album by U2 or some other top hot rock band – it would be an unprecedented hit. It’s remarkably tuneful and more-ish. Once played it will never be off your CD deck or out of your mp3 rotation for weeks and weeks to come…mark my words!


The CD was recorded in Iceland with an Icelandic studio cast and the same orchestrator and orchestrations as done in New York. 



(That should be taken with a grain of salt or arsenic as the reviewer intends…)


It’s the rare musical title that tips off the plot: There is indeed a riot going in “Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter,” and it does take place inside that man’s elbow.


Conceptually, this is kind of like the ’60s movie “Fantastic Voyage” as done as a rock musical about the 2008 financial collapse of Iceland. 


Book writers Ívar Páll Jónsson and Gunnlaugur Jónsson probably believed New Yorkers could more easily relate to a body part than Reykjavík.


With a premise this jaw-droppingly odd, there are only two possible outcomes: The show could be a wonderful oddity or a cringe-fest.


Unfortunately, it takes option 2.


The denizens of Elbowville — that’s north of Knee York and south of Eyesockette — don’t mind living in a sleepy backwater, fishing lobster in the lymphatic channels.


Things change when ambitious aide Peter (Marrick Smith) persuades his mayor boss (Cady Huffman) to create wealth with a “prosperity machine” that manufactures both bogus promissory notes and insufferable whimsy in equal quantities.


A consumerist bubble is followed by a violent crash accompanied by civic unrest. 


It’s the audience that should go to the barricades, set off by Jónsson’s awful lyrics — “Everyone is happy,” the mayor sings triumphantly, “everyone is wealthy/I’m sexually healthy.”


For a musical set in an elbow, “Revolution” has its heart in the right place, but it’s heavy-handed and tiresomely quirky. It also looks like a terrible hybrid of Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton.


A bull market isn’t the only thing that can crash and burn.




Harumph! Indeed.

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