Entertainment Theater

‘Stereophonic’ Finds Drama in a ’70s Rock Recording Sales space

15STEREOPHONIC 01 hjqc facebookJumbo

The musicals he did reward are backstage classics — “A Refrain Line,” “Dreamgirls,” “forty second Avenue” — and, maybe not coincidentally, “Stereophonic” is a behind-the-scenes look on the means of creation. Its unnamed band contains two {couples}. The regular, no-nonsense keyboard participant and singer, Holly (Juliana Canfield, who performed Kendall Roy’s assistant Jess on “Succession”), and the substance-abusing bassist, Reg (Will Brill), each British expats, are separated initially of the present. The singer Diana (Sarah Pidgeon) and the guitarist-producer, Peter (Tom Pecinka), each Individuals, are companions and rivals in love and songwriting. As for the British drummer, Simon (Chris Stack), he makes essentially the most of his spouse’s absence.

All of this and a mid-70s California setting would possibly evoke the reasonably common band well-known for “Rhiannon” and “Go Your Personal Method,” however “Stereophonic” will not be a play à clef about Fleetwood Mac. “There’s one thing concerning the mythos behind numerous bands that’s within the tradition,” Aukin mentioned. “It’s virtually utilizing snippets from numerous bands’ histories and the histories of creating a few of these well-known albums and utilizing it as a type of distant echo. We talked about many bands however we by no means talked about one.”

In a telephone interview, Canfield, 31, recalled that when she requested Adjmi for reference materials, he advisable Keith Richards’s memoir, “Life,” and “Original Cast Album: Company,” the D.A. Pennebaker documentary concerning the fraught, annoying recording that preserved Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 musical for posterity.

That movie carefully tracked the “Firm” actors as they painstakingly carried out take after take or made tiny pronunciation modifications, whereas members of the manufacturing group and Sondheim himself watched, gave notes and rolled their eyes. “Stereophonic” additionally plunges us into the center of the motion as David Zinn’s set options the blending desk within the foreground and the recording sales space within the again. A pair of engineers (Eli Gelb and Andrew R. Butler, no relation to Will) absorb each the non-public clashes and the combo of inspiration and drudgery concerned in art-making — all of which, in fact, continuously feed off each other.

In actual life, arguments about adjusting ranges or when to make use of a click on monitor would possibly make even a Steely Dan fan’s eyes glaze over. However the present doesn’t sweep the grind of creation underneath the rug, particularly as Peter evolves into an obsessive taskmaster. “God is within the particulars, however the particulars are boring in themselves,” Adjmi mentioned. “So I took that as a problem, like, ‘OK, let me see if I can flip this into one thing dramatically thrilling.’ A lot of it, the banality of the method, is a part of what’s so lovely about it, the granularity of it.”