Neal Medlyn's Lionel Ritchie Opera

Fuse Box

April 25 & 26, 2008
by Ivan Lozano

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      Lionel Ritchie Opera, 2008, Courtesy NealMedlyn.com

      Neal Medlyn, in Neal Medlyn's Lionel Ritchie Opera, sings along to the 80s megastar's Back To Front greatest hits collection, onto which he superimposes a story of torrid love affairs, unicorn fellatio and a double suicide. The plot very loosely resembles that of Richard Strauss's Arabella, re-tooled, perhaps, by the imagination of a young teenager with a Lisa Frank fetish. The performance is not only hilarious in premise; Medlyn is also a gifted performer with an absolutely flawless sense of timing. He manages to imbue his outrageous project with a deep pathosnot necessarily the pathos of the characters in his convoluted, melodramatic fantasy, but rather the pathos of "Neal Medlyn," an odd but completely unselfconscious "personality." It's only show business, but isn't everything?

      Ivan Lozano is a video artist, writer and blogger currently living in Austin, TX. He is the former programming director of the Cinematexas International Short Film Festival and a current member of the Austin Video Bee.

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