By Dave Malloy
“Ghost Quartet” is a song cycle about love, death and whiskey from Dave Malloy, the Tony-nominated creator of the Broadway hit “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” A camera breaks and four friends drink in an interwoven tale spanning seven centuries, with a murderous sister, a treehouse astronomer, a bear, a subway, and the ghost of Thelonious Monk. The story draws from several fairy tales and "ghost stories", including Snow White and Rose Red, Edgar Allen Poe's Fall of the House of Usher, and One Thousand and One Nights (commonly known as Arabian Nights). There may also be some Princess Zelda references you might recognize. Cast members present the story and music as a "concept album" and accompany themselves on keyboard, violin, ukulele, guitar, mandolin, banjo, autoharp, dulcimer and 9,000 percussion instruments. The audience may also be called upon for additional percussion and whiskey drinking.
This 90 minute musical is performed with no intermission.
Enjoy highlights from the October 2019 rendition of Dave Malloy's Ghost Quartet!
Elision Playhouse ~ 6105 42nd Avenue North ~ Crystal MN
"As someone who loves theater for the excitement of seeing a performance live,
and sharing that experience with others Ghost Quartet is a thrill."
"The quartet of Kellen Mcmillen, Quinn Shadko, Tristan Sima and Christine Wade will give you the chills."
" . . . a hauntingly beautiful story that you will want to see again."
"The performers were great, they sang well, I just didn’t connect with what they were singing."
Compendium Minneapolis - 2018
"There's literally no way to sum it up! There's literally no way it should work! Who even comes up with such a thing? Turns out it's all Theatre Elision, and yes it works (swimmingly, in fact), and you'll leave this taut 90-minute performance happy but not entirely sure why."
Cherry and Spoon - 2018
"Elision's production is really cool - immersive, participatory (the audience gets to play percussion!), performed by an excellent (and partly new this year) cast of singer/ actor/ musicians, and includes the serving of whiskey! It's a unique theater experience, musically haunting and beautiful, and an overall creepy cool vibe. This is my second* time seeing it, and I could definitely see it every year."
Twin Cities Stages - 2018
"The show has a special kind of magic that deserves being revisited so I am thrilled that Theatre Elision put it on again,
and hope that they make a pattern out of it."
Bucket Brigade - 2018
"Sonically rich, enjoyably eclectic evening of music with a sense of history, mystery and a dash of the eerie. Tight ensemble with excellent musicianship."
"Theatre Elision brings us their usual small cast and musically beautiful production . . . it's a perfect show for this Halloweekend . . .
ghostly, beautiful, and captivating"
"Perfect show for Halloween . . .voices are individually beautiful and piercing, but together they harmonize in such a way that gave me goosebumps."
"Best production I've seen since moving from New York to Minneapolis six years ago"
"An amazing show"
"The talent was remarkable"
" . . . astounding, awe inspiring, magical -- I will be talking about it for a very long time."
2019 Cast & Creative
DAVE MALLOY is a composer, writer, performer and sound designer. He has written the music for eleven musicals, including Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, an electropop opera based on War & Peace. Comet premiered at Ars Nova in the fall of 2012, before transferring Off-Broadway to Kazino, a Russian supper club built specially for the show. The show transferred to the Imperial Theater on Broadway in the fall of 2016 and was nominated for twelve Tony Awards, winning two for lighting design and set design. The show has also won the Richard Rodgers Award, a Special Citation OBIE Award, an ASCAP New Horizons Award, five Drama Desk nominations, and eleven Lucille Lortel nominations (winning three). Malloy's Ghost Quartet, a song cycle about love, death, and whiskey, premiered in October 2014 at the Bushwick Starr for an extended, sold-out run; in January it transferred to The McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More, for a twice extended run.
KELLEN MCMILLEN is a choral director, pianist, composer and arranger in the Twin Cities. He is extremely excited and grateful to be returning to Ghost Quartet. Kellen is in his seventh year as Director of Choirs at Roseville Area High School and also teaches voice lessons, music theory, composition and independent piano studies. He has a strong interest in musical theater and has served as both vocal and pit director for productions such as The Wizard of Oz, Footloose, Shrek, in addition to working as vocal director on Theatre Elision's recent production Of Art and Artists. He has a keen interest in learning new instruments and has played in a variety of bands ranging from rock and roll to folk/Americana. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College and a Master of Arts degree in Music Education/Choral Conducting from the University of St. Thomas.
QUINN SHADKO, a Minneapolis native, has performance experience spanning musical theatre, operetta, and opera. In the Twin Cities, she has appeared onstage with Park Square Theatre, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Old Log Theatre, Minnesota Opera, Skylark Opera Theatre and more. Favorite roles include Sarah in Guys and Dolls, Mary in Mary Poppins, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music and linguistics from Rice University and a master’s degree in vocal performance from New York University. Quinn is thrilled to be returning to Ghost Quartet this year and putting her childhood violin lessons to good use!
TRISTEN SIMA is thrilled to be returning to Theatre Elision's production of Ghost Quartet. He has previously performed with the Old Log Theatre, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, the Minnsky Theatre, Classical Actors Ensemble, and Zephyr Theatre. He also has been a performer/educator at PiM Arts High School, being a mentor in their Emerging Professionals Series as well as a math teacher there. Tristen is an alumnus of Wartburg College, where he sang with the internationally-renowned Wartburg Choir. He would like to thank those at Play Inc. Arts for instilling him with a love of the creative process since his beginnings in theatre.
CHRISTINE WADE is an actor, vocal director, and voice teacher in the Twin Cities. Her recent credits include roles with Theatre Elision in Ruthless, Sea Cabinet, Gone Missing, Melancholy Play - A Chamber Musical, Ragtime Women and If the Spirit Moves. She spent eight months as a production singer aboard the cruise ship, Celebrity Equinox. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she teaches students as far away as Russia and Israel through her Skype Voice Studio. Proud Member of AEA!
* Member of Actor's Equity Association
Director/Designer: Lindsay Fitzgerald
Music Director/Pianist: Harrison Wade
Vocal Director: Christine Wade
Stage Manager: Z Makila
Sound Manager: Krin McMillen