Hundred Days @ Z Space, SF
Guys, if you live in the Bay Area…stop what you’re doing and immediately get out to Z Space to see Hundred Days – the indie rock opera based on Kate E. Ryan’s book and adapted for the stage by New Yorkers Shaun and Abigail Bengson (who wanted to make it clear to the audience they are a married couple, and not a brother/sister duo – which explains the palpable sexual tension between them).
My lovely +1 and I weren’t sure what to expect, other than hearing it compared to Hair the musical, “if Hair had been written by Arcade Fire“. Big words, for sure, but Hundred Days definitely backs it up. It’s the story of Sarah and Will, a young couple who fall into an adorable, whirlwind romance only to discover Will has a terminal illness and three months to live. The couple decides the passing of time isn’t about how many seconds tick by, but how that time is perceived. They shut themselves away from family and friends, determined to soak up as much together time as possible and fit all their years of happily ever after into the span of 100 days (get it? Hundred Days…). As you can imagine, their “60 years” together are emotional, beautiful, and intense, yet difficult for their shut out friends to understand.
Unlike most musicals, there is no real set and the first act is performed more like a concert than a play. Shaun and Abigail are backed by a chorus of strong voices, a DJ, and a 4 piece ensemble – including a cello and I mean who isn’t excited for a little string in their indie rock? Shaun and Abigail (who pulls at the ol’ heart strings with her incredible solo, “Three Legged Dog”…whew!) share the roles of Will and Sarah with Bay area actors, Amy Lizardo and Reggie D. White, who take advantage of their moments to shine and show off their stellar pipes.
Jo Lampert stars as the DJ and Will’s lifelong BFF, Max, bringing her infectious energy to both parts. The second act is a tad more traditional, as the band is moved behind the backdrop and a few pieces construct Sarah and Will’s apartment. Throughout the second act, waterfalls of sand pour from the ceiling creating a stunning visual and acting as a constant reminder of the passing time.
This was our first time at Z Space and we don’t think any other venue would be better suited. The space allows the audience to share an intimacy with the actors (musicians?) making it difficult to not clap and stomp along with the music.
All in all, Hundred Days is a must see and the perfect balance for the concert and musical lover in each of us. Be sure to take advantage of their extended stay (through April 13th). Grab your tickets HERE and have an amazing date at one of the most unique shows the city has to offer!
For more amazing photos from the show, go HERE!