Photo by Kat Schleicher courtesy of Alverno Presents.
On Saturday, March 1, 8:00 p.m. at the Pitman Theatre (3431 South 39th St.) Alverno Presents will breathe new life into an overlooked cultural gem.
Led by 88.9 Radio Milwaukee DJ Tarik Moody, a diverse group of Milwaukee artists will respond to and re-imagine Marvin Gaye’s deeply personal double album from 1978, Here My Dear, through electronic, hip-hop, folk and rock music.
David Ravel, Director of Alverno Presents had always wanted to feature a program with Marvin Gaye. Coincidentally, he learned that both he and Moody consider “Hear My Dear” their favorite Marvin Gaye album. “It’s a concept album and his most personal and different from all the rest musically and lyrically,” said Moody. “It’s really the anti-Motown album.”
To put things into context, in 1976 Marvin Gaye was at his professional peak, but his personal life was in crisis. His marriage to Anna Gordy (boss Berry Gordy’s sister) was over and he was low on money. He vowed to pay Anna the royalties from his next (unrealized) album. This inspired Here, My Dear, Gaye’s most artistically challenging work chronicling his and Anna’s relationship. When the album was released in 1978, critics hated it, Gaye’s fans rejected it and Anna considered suing for invasion of privacy. Gaye’s personal and professional life never rebounded and he suffered an untimely and tragic death in 1984 at the age 44. It wasn’t until 1995 and then 2003, that Mojo Magazine and Rolling Stone gave Here, My Dear the recognition it deserved by naming it one of the greatest albums in music history.
This performance will take the audience from the beginning to the end of the album, which retells the story of Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy’s courtship, marriage and painful divorce. The all-star lineup of local performers include: Choir Fight, Mark Waldoch (Celebrated Workingman), Christopher Porterfield (Field Report), Zachary Pluer (Herman Astro), Kiings, Alida LaCosse, Klassik and Dasha Kelly.
The Unlooped series began in 2010 with electronic, reimagined versions of hip-hop producer J. Dilla and in 2012, featured the music of Wisconsin’s indie pride and joy Justin Vernon. Like past commissions from Alverno Presents, “Unlooped vs. Marvin Gaye” is a one-of-a-kind and one-night-only performance. Don’t miss it.
Purchase $20 tickets online or by calling the Alverno Presents Box Office at (414) 382-6044.
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