Though he's immersed in rehearsals for Girlfriend, Berkeley Rep's world-premiere stage adaptation of Matthew Sweet's classic album of the same name, playwright Todd Almond is going to give us a taste of his other artistic talents.
Todd is part of a dazzling lineup this Friday night, March 19, at San Francisco's Cafe du Nord. The show is Tingel Tangel's second-anniversary blow-out hosted by Joey Arrias and Veronica Klaus. In addition to Todd, you can also expect to see Holcombe Waller, the Winsome Griffles, Trauma Flinstone, Fauxnique, Harlem Shake, Allan Herrera & Terry T., Keith Hennessy, and Marga Gomez. Doors open at 8, and the show begins at 9. Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the door. Click here or here for info.
A composer, lyricist, and playwright, Todd has written a number of musicals and has released an album of original songs called Mexico City.
As a performer, Todd describes himself as "a singer/songwriter with a real theatrical inclination." That doesn't mean he wears outrageous costumes or tap dances on the piano. Rather, he sits at the piano to play and sing songs. "By theatrical, I mean the live-ness," Todd explains. "I love the storytelling and the humor of performance."
On Friday night, Todd will likely perform one of his original songs and perhaps a Tom Waits cover. He's wavering a little on that last one and may choose a Dolly Parton tune instead (see the video below). Among the other performers he admires are Leonard Cohen, Laurie Anderson, and Nina Simone. "I also love drag," he adds. "It's theatre and songs."
For a while, Todd considered taking the singer/songwriter route, performing gigs and writing songs for other singers. But he decided to simply be a theatre person.
"I can do concerts and play and sing, or I can play piano for theatre people while they sing," he says. "And I can continue to write music and lyrics and shows. I realized at some point that whatever it is I'm doing, it's theatre."
Enjoy Todd's performance below and listen to more of his work at toddalmond.com.
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