September 28, 2006

Danny Elfman Music and Marionettes

Filed under: Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 9:49 pm

Dude, we are so there!





The OBIE award-winning HERE Arts Center will proudly present the premiere of The Fortune Teller, a new marionette play written and directed by Erik Sanko with music by Erik Sanko and Danny Elfman. This production is presented through HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program as a part of HERE’s 2006 – 2007 season featuring six new multi-disciplinary shows, two festivals and the completion of its renovations. The Fortune Teller will play Thursday, October 19 – Sunday, November 5 at HERE Arts Center (145 Sixth Avenue).

The Fortune Teller reveals a world of curiosities as seven unusual characters are invited to the estate of a late millionaire industrialist and informed they’ve been included in his will. On a dark night, the strangers arrive at the late millionaire’s mansion only to learn their inheritances will be based not on a will, but on the readings of a fortune teller. One by one, each is delivered what they have coming to them, but perhaps not what they are expecting. Seven strangers’ twisted tales are brought to life in a handcrafted miniature world and woven with haunting music to tell an eerily comic story of fate and fortune.

Erik Sanko is a marionette maker whose sensibilities lie somewhere west of Eastern Europe and north of Hades in a place where academics and lion tamers go to shoot marbles. He cut his teeth on the surly streets of downtown N.Y.C. as an avant-garde musician and at the precious age of 19, he joined the superstars of noise, The Lounge Lizards with whom he played for 16 years. His reputation landed him roles with such luminaries as John Cale, Yoko Ono, Jim Carroll and eventually led him to start his own band, Skeleton Key. All during this time he was secretly making marionettes much to his bandmates’ confusion.

Music for The Fortune Teller was created as a collaboration of musician Erik Sanko and composer/song writer Danny Elfman. Elfman is known for composing major motion pictures scores such as Spiderman, Men in Black, Good Will Hunting and for his collaborations with director Tim Burton on such films as Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Beetlejuice, among others. He has also written theme songs for several television shows including The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives.

Recorded narration in The Fortune Teller is provided by Irish vocalist, artist, composer Gavin Friday. The accomplished musician founded the hit European band Virgin Prunes in 1977. Over the years he has spent time as a painter, cabaret host and performer. Since 1987 he has composed/performed with pianist Maurice Seezer on various projects and albums. His film work includes a collaboration with Bono for the 1993 film In the Name of the Father, recording the title track and the Sinead O’Connor hit “You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart.” With Maurice Seezer he contributed the song “Angel” to the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack and wrote the score for the Australian film Angel Baby. Other film scores include The Boxer, Disco Pigs and In America. More recently, Friday and Seezer teamed with producer Quincy Jones to score the 50 Cent biopic Get Rich or Die Trying. He also made his screen debut with a performance in 2005’s film Breakfast on Pluto.

Written and directed by Erik Sanko with the musical collaboration of Erik Sanko and Danny Elfman and recorded narration by Gavin Friday, The Fortune Teller includes puppetry by Matthew Acheson, Erik Sanko, Liam Hurley and Randall Whittinghill.

The Fortune Teller has been developed through HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program led by Basil Twist. The Dream Music Puppetry Program is part of HERE’s Artist Residency Program (HARP) which provides development, commissions and full production support. Since 1993, the OBIE-winning HERE Arts Center has been a premier arts organization in NYC and a leader in the field of new, hybrid performance work. Under the executive and artistic leadership of Kristin Marting, HERE has served 11,000 emerging to mid-career artists developing work that does not fit a conventional programming agenda. Work presented at HERE has garnered 10 OBIE awards, an OBIE grant for artistic achievement, three Drama Desk nominations, two Berrilla Kerr Awards, two NY Innovative Theatre Awards, an Edwin Booth Award and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. HERE was recently awarded a $500,000 federal grant by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and Co-Founder Kristin Marting was honored with a 2005 BAX10 Award for Arts Managers. HERE is proud to support artists at all stages in their careers through full productions, artist residency programs, festivals and subsidized performance and rehearsal space. Work at HERE is curated based on the strength and uniqueness of the artist’s vision. In 2005, with the support of FJC, a foundation of donor advised funds, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the City of New York, HERE purchased its long-time home as part of a five-year “Secure HERE’s Future” campaign.

The Fortune Teller will play October 19 – November 5 at HERE Arts Center (145 Sixth Avenue, one block below Spring Street) as follows: Thursday – Monday at 7:00 PM. PLEASE NOTE there will be additional performances on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00 PM and Tuesday, October 31 at 9:00 PM. All tickets are $20.00. Purchases can be made online at, or by calling (212) 352-3101, or at the HERE Box Office (4 PM until curtain on performance days). For more info, visit

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