Five years ago, Mark Siano and Opal Peachy were in Prague on vacation, and they happened upon a statue of romantic composer Antonín Dvořák. “We had had a little bit too much absinthe that night,” says Siano, a local theater performer, “and started dreaming up big ideas for putting together a show about Prague in the 1890s.”
In 2015, that show, Bohemia, premiered at Cafe Nordo. Last year, Siano and Peachy staged a production at the Triple Door. Now, the show’s back with the biggest production yet. Bohemia is a mash-up of burlesque, dance, classical and contemporary music, comedy, and absinthe service. It tells the story of Dvořák as he tries to write his opus. He gets blocked up, cracks a bottle of absinthe, and hallucinates a wild cabaret.
This year Siano (who directs and stars as Dvořák) added “Keep Dreaming,” a number which sees the show’s green fairies covered in LED lights as they dance to music that might recall Erik Satie, Elton John, and Florence and the Machine.
Fredrich Chopin, George Sand, and Alphonse Mucha all appear as characters alongside the contemporary music and comedy, but Siano figures the show’s anachronistic glee is a sneaky bit of teaching. “I think to a certain degree we're kind of the keepers of some of the old arts and we want them to live on,” he says. “I want people to know about Alphonse Mucha, so we're using a lot of 1890s music and style and fashion and putting them in a more contemporary story.”
Jan 17–26, The Triple Door, $20–$44