Local theater company BooTown is putting its own spin on Empire Records for Damn the Man, the third installment of its Benshi-style performances.
Director Emily Hynds chose the cult-90s, coming-to-age-in-a-record-store tale because of its appealing, yet inaccurate, portrayal of the artistic lifestyle. The original movie ends with everything coming up roses for a group of outcast artists, musicians and music geeks that work in a local independent record store. An unrealistic resolution for anyone, especially artists, as Hynds learned later on when she embraced a similar way of life to the characters in the movie.
In Japan, Benshi performers memorize western movies and then reinterpret the story for an eastern audience. Hynds will follow this tradition by remixing Empire Records to be less happily-ever-after and more when-people-stop-being-polite-and-start-getting-real. The cast includes BooTown co-artistic director Lindsay Burleson, Christopher Oddo, Jillian Van Zelfden, Stephen Walker and David Feil, who will be providing a live soundtrack.
The Nov. 10 performance will be at Big Star Bar (1005 West 19th St.) and the Nov. 16-17 performances will be at Cactus Music (2110 Portsmouth St.).