By Ally Richmond
Murders and musicals come together to form Sheri Amourr and Serene Dominic’s latest creation: Dark Lullaby. This show centers around a musician who finds himself in the middle of an accidental murder that turns into a series of murders and spirals out of control. Based on the 1945 film noir classic Detour, the show is different from the average musical.
“There will be plenty of comedy, with a feeling of audience inclusion, along with a bit of dark comedy,” says Sheri Amourr, one of the directors of the show.
“I think it’s a real rock musical in that we showcase the musicians in the band. There is some stagey singing that’s outside the rock idiom on a few songs, but the music works as a rock concert with a bit of plot thrown in. We’re also trying to give a live stage show a film noir feel so I expect the smog machines will be working overtime,” says Serene Dominic, musician, writer and co-director of the show.
The music and narration for the show is provided by Dominic’s band, The San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band.
“We formed the San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band to be the house band for the show which I’m in and now has a life outside of the show. We’ve done about a dozen shows and people take notice when you march in seven guys dressed as prisoners from the back of a club. Does great business for the bar. Lots of nervous drinkers,” says Dominic.
In fact, the show started with only the music. The plot and dialogue were added later on.
“I recorded an album of that name in 2016 with the idea of making a musical based on the film noir classic Detour. There’s a song on the album called ‘Detour’ which is a tip-off. My original idea was to record the cast album first like Jesus Christ Superstar which was an album well before it was a show. But I couldn’t get people in time so I figured it all out on my own,” says Dominic. “I had done a monologue based on Detour, fitting my songs around the plotline which we expanded here. Outside of two songs, all the rest were new and specifically written for this. And I expanded on the story so there’d be a higher body count. Because most musicals now demand that.”
The audience can expect lots of twists, turns and scares.
“The show is structured around the idea of the old Scared Straight specials where they would bus seventh graders into maximum security prisons. For our show’s purpose, the audience is those seventh graders. So they can expect to be treated like irresponsible kids, but they’ll get the truth like a straight razor!” says Dominic.
The show will premiere on Saturday, June 9th at Trunk Space’s Hope Hall at 8 p.m. They will also be selling full cast-recorded albums of the show. It will be performed again on Saturday, June 17th at Film Bar at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
“Although this is a live, stage musical, it has a 1950s film noir feel to it. As with our previous productions, we will be incorporating video and photo segments into the action to help tell the story. And well, if anyone has seen anything that Serene Dominic has done, they know that they are in for something a bit unusual,” says Amourr.
By the end of the show, the audience will walk away having learned a valuable lesson about being true to oneself.
“It’s a random universe where anything can happen at any time, so be sure you are true to your heart with every breath you take. And dare I say it, with every step you make. You love people and if it doesn’t work out you keep loving people because it’s better than turning a cold shoulder on the world,” says Dominic.
For more shows around town, visit our events page.