Friday, July 1, 2011

The Shaggs

Tommy and I went to NYC again for a visit and saw some excellent shows.

One was a piece I had been really excited to see: The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World at Playwrights Horizons.

I first heard of The Shaggs via a New Yorker article by Susan Orlean that came out maybe 10 years ago.

If you don't know who The Shaggs are, they were a rock band comprised of three teen-aged sisters, forced into formation by their deluded and rather abusive father in the late 1960s.  

The father took all three of them out of school, threw them in the basement with a drum set and some guitars and told them to write music.

The fact that none of them had any previous training, lessons or musical ability seemed a minor speed-bump to Dad.

Anyway, they wrote enough music for an album, which their father paid to have professionally recorded and the rest is History.

Listening to the Shaggs is an experience like no other.  It's really kind of amazing.  And indescribable.

So I was really excited to see the musical. 


I can't tell you how amazing I thought this was: the cast, the music, the story, the direction, the design.  Everything was just stunning.

So I was really, truly surprised and shocked to hear after seeing the show that not only were they not extending their run, but they were actually closing early!  
This weekend is your last chance to see it in NYC, and I really, truly hope you can!

From what I gathered, they received a mixed review from the New York Times, and they couldn't recover.

I didn't read the review, but I can't imagine what they didn't like about it.  I really can't.  I mean, it's great.

But I'm not a critic (obviously!)

So all I can say is that I was incredibly moved and tickled and enthralled by The Shaggs, from beginning to end.

I hope that the piece finds a home and a longer life somewhere (I could totally see SpeakEasy or ART eating this up!).  It really deserves to be seen by many people!


  1. The Shaggs were formed in 1968, not the late '70s.

  2. Thanks. I meant to say "late '60s", thanks for pointing out the typo!


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