ERIN McGRANE | Calling it 'theatrical music'
Erin McGrane, an actress who sustains a career in commercials, voice-overs and film, rarely appears in a local theater production, mainly because Alacartoona, the band she fronts, has always performed with a theater sensibility.
Each band member plays a specific character, and the group's last public performance, "Bought and Souled," was closer to a real play than anything the band had created before. It was a Faustian tale with plenty of music, but it also required actors — Vi Tran, Katie Gilchrist and Andy Garrison.
"We blur the line all over the place," McGrane said. "We call it theatrical music. It's not really musical theater. We're not doing 'Carousel.' It's not a straight play, but it's not a concert either."
McGrane will be in a full-fledged theater piece in May called "The Oil Boiler," an original play co-written by musician and visual artist Tyson Schroeder and Alacartoona member Christian Hankel. Actors Gilchrist and Walter Coppage will be in the show, McGrane said, and Scott Cordes will direct.
McGrane said Kansas City is an ideal place for artists who want to smudge boundaries because the environment here is mutually supportive and collaborative.
"The cross-discipline and collaboration that happens in Kansas City just doesn't happen in other cities," McGrane said.
Music, theater — regardless of the specific art form, McGrane said it's all about finding that creative mojo.
"When you're doing original music, there's something very immediate performing your own work," she said. "It's more frightening, but it's also more rewarding in some ways. So it's different, but they're both exciting and very satisfying for an artist. In Alacartoona I get to be a character, but I also get to create music."
Read the whole article here: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/02/24/1768954_p2/these-multitalented-musicians.html