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Loudon Wainwright III: Surviving Twin

7 September 2019
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Town Hall Theater

$59 plus fees

A solo piece many years in the making, Surviving Twin is what singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright calls a “posthumous collaboration” with his writer father. Part concert, part dramatic reading, part family slide-show, it is a hybrid theatrical form consisting mainly of songs written by Loudon III, magazine columns written by his late father, Loudon Jr., and photographs that span four generations of the Wainwright clan.

Despite a troubled past in this father-son relationship, Loudon III has carefully chosen, arranged and rehearsed these pieces, taking the best of his own and linking them with samples of his father’s best self, then bringing them to a polish with the help of Joseph Haj and Playmakers Rep, and yet as the evening unfolds one begins to wonder whether this is a tribute or an exorcism.

Surviving Twin has been performed in limited theater engagements and will debut as a Netflix special later this year, produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Christopher Guest.

Loudon Wainwright III (b. 1946) is a singer- songwriter, actor and published author. He has recorded over 26 albums including the 2010 Grammy Award winning High, Wide, & Handsome. Critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times writes, “[Loudon III] wrings more truth out of his contradiction than any other songwriter of his generation.” As an actor he has appeared on TV (M.A.S.H., Ally Mc-Beal, Undeclared), in movies (Big Fish, The Aviator, Knocked Up), on Broadway (Pump Boys & Dinettes), and Off-Broadway (Hot Lunch Apostles). In 2017 Penguin/Randomhouse released his new autobiographical memoir, Liner Notes, followed in 2018 by his “audiobiography” Years In The Making, a 2-CD retrospective featuring orphaned album cuts, live recordings, radio appearances, home demos, and more.

“Wise and witty, funny and sad, Surviving Twin is an inspired investigation into the complicated, conflicted relationships between fathers and sons.
***** (5 stars).”- London Evening Standard

“Extraordinary and wildly original, a hybrid of songs, spoken-word, solo theatre, and home movie footage.”
– The Times (London)

“Wainwright is unsparing, on himself and the others he references in this stabbingly funny, deeply moving piece.”
– Los Angeles Times

“Surviving Twin,” a bristling, acerbic, ultimately affecting family album of a show…”
– New York Times