The rustic 2640 Space in Charles Village has a mystic, bewitchery to it and on March 23rd the relic space, which is usually cold and damp, was warm and buzzing with hundreds of eager Baltimoreans ready to get rocked by Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s (BROS) show, Gründlehämmer.
Nearly eight years ago, a few Goucher College grads, living in Baltimore, decided they wanted to write a rock opera. Being musicians themselves, they wrote the story and the music for what would become Gründlehämmer. The tongue-in-cheek, medieval epic became such a hit with audiences after several sold out shows that the group they formed known as BROS, to create and promote the show, ended up becoming a theatre company. BROS went from a weekend of Gründlehämmer shows at 2640 Space to a theatre company that has produced seven full length rock operas. Now five years later, Gründlehämmer is back in a beefed up redux, once again at the 2640 Space.
Gründlehämmer takes place in the land of Brotopia, which was once a prosperous kingdom where the power of music could make crops grow, heal the sick, or smite an enemy. A shadow has fallen across the land, cast by a tyrannical Dark King Lothario and an immortal cave-dwelling monster of unspeakable evil: the Gründle. At the heart of the tale is poor farm boy, Benedon, who struggles through love, loss and battle, in an effort to restore peace to the land of Brotopia.
What makes the BROS so great? Well, aside from the highly-entertaining spectacles with in-your-face guitar riffs and drop-dead vocal range, it’s the DIY mind set that has not only helped propel their success, but also provided a blueprint for other independent theatre companies in Baltimore. Coupled with the tireless work of hundreds of volunteers, BROS has developed a following, large enough to allow them the opportunity to take Gründlehämmer on the road to Alexandria, VA and Philadelphia. Their raucous blend of entertainment will now be shared with our neighbors to the north and south over the next several weekends.
If you missed Gründlehämmer while it was in Baltimore, it’s recommended that you take a short drive to either Philly or Alexandria. You will not be disappointed.
While the show is hilarious, over-the-top and rowdy, don’t be fooled into thinking the work of the stage crew, directors, actors and organizers isn’t tireless – because most of these folks are doing this as volunteers. Please consider how your one contribution ($20 ticket) could help foster future BROS productions as well as provide you a rockin’ good time on a Friday evening.
The Deutsch Foundation has provided funds to help make the return of Gründlehämmer possible. We are proud and grateful to the BROS and their contribution to Baltimore’s art scene.
Tour promo video for spring 2014:
Cast and Crew:
Director – Aran Keating
Assistant Director – Melissa O’Brien
Production Manager – Stephanie Ulman
Stage Manager – Debra Lenik
Assistant Stage Manager – Miriam Cummons
Band Leader – John Decampos
Set Design Department – Joe Martin
Props Department – Anna Platis
Royal Forge (Guitars) Department – John deCampos
Costumes (Good Guys) – Taylor Carlton
Costumes (Bad Guys) – Eliza Vlasova
Armory Department – Matt Beale
Creatures & Puppets Department – John Marra
Shadow Puppets Department – Doug Johnson
Gore FX Department – Randall Ziman
Dance Choreography – Judy Kurjan
Fight Coreography – Sarah Flash Gorman
Graphic Design – Shannon Light Hadley
Benedon – Christopher Krysztofiak
Gunnora – Moira Goldie Horowitz
Halvor – Danielle Robinette
Mammoroth – Derek Vaughan Brown
Lothario – Greg Bowen
Malodrung – Phil Doccolo
The gründle, Minotaur – Nairobi Collins
Narrator, Old Man – Matthew Casella
Old king, Benedon’s Father, Villager – Michael Stevenson
Old queen, Benedon’s Mother, Villager – Mattie Rogers
Goran – Brad Bukowsky
Royal Guard 1 -Eric Poch
Royal Guard 2 – Mark Miller
Meredith – Kris Hanrahan
Tilliana – Eve Carlson
Homeless Mother – Abby Cocke
Townsgirl – Valor Ashton Mcrae
Lil’ Shopkeep – Ashton Mcrae
Villager 1 – Joe Martin
Villager 2 – John Marra
Dancers – Hannah Friedland, Morgan Moses-Allen, Marissa O’guinn & Amanda J. Rife