American Theatre Magazine

It's Better With A Band

The American musical’s next wave isn’t jukebox shows and rock stars—it’s a jam session between indie bands and theatre artists making vital new music together.

"In Texas, Houston’s Catastrophic Theatre has been cross-breeding its own musical mutants with some success. Artistic director Jason Nodler has thus far created two shows around the songs of outsider artist Daniel Johnston (Speeding Motorcycle and Life Is Happy and Sad), as well as the multilayered Bluefinger, after the Black Francis concept album inspired by Dutch art-rocker Herman Brood. Said Nodler, who employs local bands and musicians as much or more than trained actors: 'I love music more than I do theatre. The kind of work that interests me doesn’t exist unless I do it.' "