The Lives of Hamilton Fish

Levitt Auditorium

Marginal Utility Gallery, in conjunction with the University of the Arts, is proud to present “The Lives of Hamilton Fish,” a cinematic rock opera inspired by a true story and sung by a single voice, that of New York-based artist Rachel Mason.

This event coincides with the ongoing exhibition of the same name at Marginal Utility, which runs through May 25. Mason will be singing the soundtrack of the film live with accompaniment by artist/musician and former UArts student Steven Dufala '96, a founding member of the experimental rock band Man Man and one half of the Philadelphia-based artist duo Dufala Brothers.

The film's story begins with a coincidence: A serial killer and a statesman, both named Hamilton Fish, die on the same day. However, Hamilton Fish II is a descendant of one of the most prominent families in New York State and Hamilton "Albert" Fish is a psychopath and notorious child murderer, who was executed at Sing Sing Prison. A newspaper editor publishes their obituaries on his front page and this coincidence becomes his obsession. The film's story is told entirely through songs in the editor's voice as scenes unfold to reveal a surreal tale where supernatural events and historic facts merge in a wild, musical journey.

“The Lives of Hamilton Fish” is a film that is intended to be performed in front of a live audience. Its debut performance was in Hong Kong at the Pineapple Underground Film Festival where Mason sang the soundtrack to an audience at the Hidden Agenda rock club. The film is projected onto the screen in a continuous loop and the objects presented in conjunction are unique costumes and stylized props used in the film. Cubist- and deco-inspired design is a feature of “The Lives of Hamilton Fish,” whose fantasy world imagines New York of 1936 to be emerging from an abstract painting.

Admission is free. Doors: 6:30 p.m.; show: 7 p.m.

Gershman Hall
401 S Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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