A Rockin’ Soundtrack for ‘Dracula, a Rock Ballet’
The recent run of Dracula, A Rock Ballet at the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater was a smashing success. The critics praised it and many audience members went straight from the theater to the box office to buy tickets for subsequent performances. The rock-and-roll score was composed by Madison’s own Michael Massey, best known as the front man for Chaser in the late ’70s and Boys in White in the ’80s. Both those bands were very successful locally with Chaser coming oh-so-close to landing the then-coveted record deal.
The recording, which came straight off the Capitol Theater’s soundboard, is pristine and highly impressive. Each part of the seven-piece band is easily perceptible, and in most places, this music rocks very hard. As I began to listen I forgot this was a live recording until the applause after the opening “Act One Overture.” (For a complete review of Dracula, a Rock Ballet click here.)
The band’s nucleus also plays in a newly formed group called Stop the Clock. Massey plays keyboards. Drummer Tony Cerniglia is a long-time musical mate of Massey’s from both Chaser and Boys in White and also had another successful run with Minneapolis-based Seventeen Rhinos. Same goes for guitarist Mike Ripp who has played in countless Madison bands over time. He’s one of the city’s best, and most underrated, guitarists.
Second guitarist Jay Moran is best known for his stints in the O’Bros and the Know-it-all Boyfriends. Gomers veterans Dave Adler (keyboards), Biff Blumfumgange (violin) and Gordon Ramney (bass) complete the lineup. This is a veritable Madison rock supergroup and the tightness of the performances proves it.
Dracula is likely to take a road trip this summer.
Go see the band on June 2, and if Madison is so fortunate to ever see another theatrical presentation of Dracula, a Rock Ballet, it would be well worth your time to check out.
Here is a video and a Madison Magazine on Dracula, a Rock Ballet.