John Moran Opera The Jack
added to IJBFC Video Library
I am very pleased to announce after two years of
discussion, I am obtaining a copy of John Moranís opera Jack
Benny! (aka, The
Jack Benny Program).
I watched it at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts back
in January of 2011, and I thought it was one of the most inventive (and
mind-blowing) artistic creations that Iíd ever seen inspired by Jack and the
program. Moran was 24 years old at
the time of its debut in 1989, and was inspired by the late-night reruns on CBN
during the 1980s. For anyone who has
been a regular viewer of the syndication package, you will easily be able to
say, ďOh, heís doing the show where Jack visits the Pasadena Fan Club,Ē
etc. Credit to John himself for his
unflagging support of my efforts to get this work out for broader appreciation.
That said, this work will not be for everyone.
It is not an opera by traditional standards, as the audio is almost
exclusively a remix of Benny television clips (plus a few other shows...The
Big Valley is one that comes to mind).
Actors lip-synch to the audio, often performing the same vignette over
and over with slight visual changes (e.g., the seeming 6í5 actress in the Toni
Marcus role gets increasingly irritated with Jack as he asks her repeatedly how
old she is). Electronic editing also
alters the perception of well-known scenes, as in Jack celebrating Donís
anniversary and bringing out a variety of honors and gifts.
If the concept of an African American Dennis Day careening a straitjacketed, maniacally-laughing Don Wilson around the stage in a wheelchair under strobe lights intrigues you, then watch the IJBFC Web site for this to be added to the library collection. If not, then know that itís out there if you meet someone whose Benny tastes run to the exotic.
I have also created a disc of the three programs which served as inspiration for Moran's work, which can be ordered in addition to the opera.
here for instructions on how to order material from the IJBFC Library.