MY COMA DREAMS tells a true story of love
at the dividing line between life and death.
the story: An HIV-positive jazz musician is rushed by his partner to St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan. A mild cough has become a massive infection, shutting down every organ in his body. The doctors put him into a medically-induced coma. Over the next two months, he enters a highly personal dream world, full of vivid experiences of confinement and release, of surreal comedy and ineffable beauty. He finds himself in hushed cathedrals; trapped in a cage beside jazz legend Thelonious Monk; careening through the night in a runaway van; dancing the tango in an impossibly luxurious airplane. Meanwhile, his partner fights through panic and despair to try to reach out to him across the gulf of consciousness, while negotiating the real-world complexities of his medical care.
the music is by composer Fred Hersch, "singular among trailblazers of his art." (Vanity Fair)
the script is by writer/director Herschel Garfein, whose "themes are deeply American, and rooted in the mores of Generations X and Y." (Time Out NY)
MY COMA DREAMS is jazz theater: theater propelled by music, words, song, and images in fluid and ever-changing combinations.
starring singer/actor Michael Winther, "a theater singer of unusual refinement" with "a voice that traverses genres." (NY Times)
featuring extended improvisations from Fred Hersch himself, "the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz" (Vanity Fair) and an 11-piece ensemble "swinging like mad." (All About Jazz).
with projections by animator Sarah Wickliffe, who creates "a swirling pastiche of visual imagery that places dream worlds and reality in juxtaposition, always adding to the overall composition of the piece." (Culturebot)