This is a real off-off success story. These two started out in clubs, and now they’re playing Broadway. BROADWAY. THE Broadway. Not to overstate it, but good for them. With a four week limited engagement, you don’t have that many chances to see ’em, which is a good move on their part. If it’s a hit, they can extend. Hey, maybe they’ll win a Tony and get to perform on TV. No matter what, this is a big step for an act that’s been kicking around for a long time and have found big-time success – they’ve even played Carnegie Hall. The press release below is LONG, but there’s a lot to say about this pair. Check out their web site, and of course, the MySpace page for even more info.
A NEW MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA:
“KIKI & HERB: ALIVE ON BROADWAY”
WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY
JUSTIN BOND (KIKI) & KENNY MELLMAN (HERB)
TO PLAY 4 WEEKS ONLY
PERFORMANCES BEGIN AUGUST 11
HELEN HAYES THEATRE
(240 WEST 44TH STREET)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15 @ 7:00 PM
The infamous Kiki & Herb are poised to make their long-time comin’ Broadway debut in Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway, which will play 4 WEEKS ONLY at the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 West 44th Street). Performances begin August 11, 2006. Official Opening is set for Tuesday, August 15 @ 7:00 PM.
Written and performed by Justin Bond (Kiki) and Kenny Mellman (Herb), Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway finds the widely acclaimed duo performing in New York for the first time since their wildly successful sold-out September 2004 concert Kiki & Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall. As fate would have it, they didn’t expire as they hoped and promised following that unprecedented event.
When Kiki & Herb didn’t kick the bucket, they decided to hit the road. They found themselves on a two-year worldwide tour headlining their own shows and sharing the bill with Grammy®-nominated sensation the Scissor Sisters on their smash European tour, which landed them in prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall. This March, they enjoyed a 3-week extended solo run at the studio at the Sydney Opera House.
These recent events have surprised none so much as Kiki & Herb themselves. They’re still here. And astonishingly, they’ve managed to make a date with the Great White Way. Long overdue some might say. About this triumphant moment at the end of a seemingly endless career, Kiki & Herb proclaim, “We has risen.” They crawled up from the dark corners of downtown New York, took on the world, and now they’ll grace Broadway.
Kiki is a brash, boozy septuagenarian chanteuse. She’s seen it all and done it all, just don’t expect her to remember it all. Kiki has never much cared what other people think, but she’s always willing to say what she thinks. On stage with her stalwart accompanist and only living friend Herb, Kiki lets rip with political rants, searing social commentary and confessions about their own highs and lows. As the story goes, a young Kiki & Herb met in the 1930s at the Erie Children’s Institutional, where the two would begin an artistic collaboration and close personal relationship that would last a lifetime. A very long lifetime. Together they’ve self-medicated their way through numerous regimes, fads and fascists, presidencies, pregnancies and personal challenges that would send most other people into rehab or retirement, but not Kiki & Herb. They don’t quit! Largely ignored by their own generation, they have been championed by the international hipster set in the twilight of their show business career.
Kiki expounds upon all this and more as Herb tickles the ivories in Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway, their latest installment of musical madness. In a performance worthy of the Great White Way, Kiki & Herb display their musical prowess with reinventions of songs by great artists old and new such as: The Cure, Bob Merrill, the Wu-Tang Clan, Bright Eyes, Dan Fogelberg, The Mountain Goats and many more. Kiki & Herb are set to put on one helluva show with the sounds that made them famous and the hot sounds of today. Between songs, Kiki regales their audience with self-indulgent pronouncements and grand delusions, taking on a wide range of subjects from motherhood to gay marriage, the president to the pope (“the Devil really does wear Prada”). If they could love, they would love you all.
In addition to their most recent smash New York appearance Kiki & Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall, Justin Bond and Kenny Mellman have been tearing up stages everywhere since 1989 as the legendary duo. In May 2003, they opened to critical acclaim in Off-Broadway’s Kiki & Herb: Coup de Théatre, which played a 5-month run at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Their better-known previous installments include the Obie-winning Kiki & Herb: Jesus Wept and Kiki & Herb: There’s a Stranger in the Manger (NYC’s Westbeth Theater, 2001). Beyond New York, they toured with Pardon Our Appearance (Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater, March 2002; Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre, October 2002 – where Bond and Mellman were nominated for Helen Hayes Awards as Lead Actor & Supporting Actor, respectively) and Where Are We Now? (London’s Soho Theatre, August 2002). They returned to London with Kiki & Herb: There’s a Stranger in the Manger (Winter 2002) and also played aboard the HMS President in the River Thames with Kiki & Herb Mount The President. Favorite performances include: the Biennale (Germany), On The Boards (Seattle), the Great American Music Hall (San Francisco), the Knitting Factory L.A. and collaborations with such artists as Debbie Harry, Julian Fleisher, Sandra Bernhard, Mike Patton, Bob Ostertag, Antony of Antony and the Johnsons, the Scissor Sisters and Rufus Wainwright. Kiki & Herb recordings include Kiki & Herb: Do You Hear What We Hear and Kiki & Herb Will Die for You at Carnegie Hall.
Justin Bond is an Obie, Bessie and GLAAD Media Award winner and was recently named by Time Out London as one of England’s 50 Funniest People. His most recent solo show “Glamour Damage” made its world premiere at London’s Soho Theatre and was hailed by the Evening Standard as “A glittering walk on the wild side.” He performs with his band The Freudian Slippers and as a featured vocalist on the London Readers Wifes’ “Nostalgia,” had a Top 20 Single on the UK alternative chart. Recently, he appeared as Valerie Solanas with Matmos at the Whitney Biennial. Bond toured internationally with avant-garde noise/cabaret band Pantychrist. Film credits include John Cameron Mitchell’s feature Shortbus as well as Imaginary Heroes and Kiki & Herb Reloaded (OutFest, LA / NewFest, NYC) and on television, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Bond is currently an MA Scenography candidate at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design in London.
Kenny Mellman studied music composition at UC Berkeley and poetry at San Francisco State University. His work on Kiki & Herb has earned him an Obie, a Bessie, a GLAAD Media Award, an HX Award and a Helen Hayes Award nomination. He performed with artist John Kelly in Paved Paradise (portraying the character of Georgia O’Keefe) in San Francisco, Los Angeles (Highways) and Manchester, England (the Library Theater) and appeared in Underground Goddess at HERE and the the Nuyorican Poets Theatre. He has shared the stage or recorded with artists including Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar), The Magnetic Fields and The Magnetic Fields’ side project The Three Terrors, among others. His latest work includes his solo show Kenny Mellman Is Grace Jones (the TBA Festival in Portland, OR and various venues in NYC); and Kenny Mellman Plus Neal Medlyn Equals R Kelly with Neal Medlyn. Presently he is collaborating with Michael Patrick King and Bridget Everett on At Least It’s Pink, which was a hit at the 2006 Aspen Comedy Arts Festival and is set to have a run at Ars Nova next season.
Set Design for Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway is by Tony Award® winner Scott Pask (The Pillowman). Lighting Design is by Jeff Croiter (Burleigh Grime$). Costume Design is by Marc Happel (Kiki & Herb: Coup de Théatre). Sound Design is by Brett Jarvis (Lypsinka! As I Lay Lypsynching).
Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway is presented by David J. Foster, Jared Geller, Ruth Hendel, Jonathan Reinis Inc., Billy Zavelson and Jamie Cesa, in association with Gary Allen, Anne Strickland Squadron and Melvin Honowitz.
Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway will play 4 WEEKS ONLY beginning August 11 at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre located at 240 West 44th Street (between Broadway & 8th Ave.). Schedule: Tuesday @ 7:00 PM, Wednesday through Friday @ 8:00 PM, Saturday @ 2:00 & 8:00 PM and Sunday @ 3:00 PM. Please note: There will be an additional performance on Monday, August 14 @ 8:00 PM. There will be NO performance on Wednesday, August 16. Tickets are $87.50 and can be purchased through Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or at www.telecharge.com. For each performance, a lottery for $25.00 front row seats will be held 2½ hours before curtain. A limited number of $200.00 premium seats are available for each performance. Premium patrons receive a Kiki & Herb VIP souvenir package. For more info, visit www.kikiandherb.com.