New glam-rock musical gets biblical

New glam-rock musical gets biblical

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It’s taken a lot of blood, sweat and mascara, but out actor and performer Erik Ransom is finally ready to launch his new musical, “Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions,” which runs through Feb. 6 at Prince Music Theater.

“Coming” is a dark and comedic modern-day musical based on the Book of Revelations where the battle between good and evil is waged on the music charts. Ransom, who wrote the play and the music, stars as Damian Salt, a bisexual glam-rock superstar pitted against Josh Crenshaw, an aspiring “American Idol”-styled singer-songwriter, and a Christ-figure with a message of love and hope played by Noah Mazaika.

“It is a very blasphemous show,” Ransom said.

Yay, blasphemy! Pass the popcorn.

Ransom said he drew inspiration for the show from a number of sources.

“I had just read Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion,’ which ignited my preexisting issues with mainstream religion. I also do a glam-rock act under my own name. I dress up in androgynous clothes and wear 8-inch heels in a nightclub act. I had this idea that my stage persona was the Crown Prince of Sodom and descended from the noble lines of Sodom and Gomorrah. For my nightclub act, I realized there was more to it than I could get out in that venue, so I wrote this song for it, ‘New Sodom,’ and it just kept writing itself.”

That sounds a lot like ...

“There are nods to Bowie certainly,” Ransom said.

(Whew! We’re glad he beat us to it.)

“I play the antichrist in the show and there is a point where I have a conversation with my father, Satan, who sounds a great deal like David Bowie,” he added.

Ransom said he fleshed out most of the story and songs for “Coming” in a relatively short and fruitful span of time.

“The initial draft of the show I wrote in five days,” he said. “I wrote 60 pages and 14 brand-new songs chronologically. They just flowed out of me. Obviously, I didn’t sleep much or do much else. I was socially horrible during that period.”

It turns out that writing the play and the music was a cakewalk compared to what came after it.

“The first draft was easy,” Ransom said. “It just happened. Since then, there’s been a lot of revisions and rewrites. During the rehearsal process, there have been cuts and changes, new songs have been added. So it’s been a long undertaking.”

In keeping with the show’s intertwining themes of religion, fame, good and evil (not to mention jabs at “American Idol” and the paparazzi), the opening-night performance of “Coming” on Jan. 22 will feature a cameo by out reality-show star Reichen Lemkuhl (“The A-List New York”), who will play himself as the judge of the faux-reality show “American Icon.” Ransom and Lemkuhl met when the two were performing in “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” in New York City.

“We became friends and I had talked about the ideas for the show,” Ransom said about Lemkuhl’s appearance in “Coming.” “I approached him about it and I was surprised that he was perfectly willing to do it.”

Traverse Arts Project presents “Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions” through Feb. 6 at Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut St. For more information or tickets, visit www.traversetheater.org or call 215-569-9700.


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