The Great Comet’s Mary Knapp Drops Solo Album Chronicling Her Broadway Experience
FEB 21, 2019
The accordionist also duets with Great Comet star Grace McLean in an ode to War & Peace.
Earlier this month, musician and actor Mary Knapp released her solo album Disco Eclipse. The album tells the story of the accordionist’s unconventional journey to Broadway in the Tony-nominated Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.
“I was operating exclusively in the DIY music scene when out of the blue I got an email requesting an appointment for me to audition for the Great Comet,” she tells Playbill. “A month later, in September 2016, I started rehearsals for what would be the most physically intense and rewarding show in my life to date.”
Knapp made her Broadway debut in the ensemble—a track that would take its toll on her body. “I was not a trained dancer, and my body hurt almost the entire run of the show, but leading up to Tonys, I knew I had a more serious injury,” Knapp says. Disco Eclipse tells Knapp’s story, injury and all. The song “Bzzzness” is a duet with fellow Great Comet star Grace McLean and Knapp’s ode to War & Peace, the source material for the Dave Malloy-penned musical. Listen to the track here.
She penned most of the music while on Broadway; “Civilians,” “Bloody Murder,” and “Playground Politics” epitomize her experience at the height of the show’s journey. “Rainy Day,” “Toot Suite,” “Sway,” and “Fault Line” describe the aftermath of leaving the show, “having nothing to do all day, that your career is at a stand still... and finally finding your rhythm again.”
listen to full album:
VIDEO: GREAT COMET Alum Mary Knapp Debuts 'Toot Sweet's Variety Show' Featuring New Single
Fresh off the heels of a nine-month run with the Tony award-winning show Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812, bandleader & accordionist Mary Spencer Knapp wrote, co-directed, produced & edited the debut episode of her band's new web series Toot Sweet's Variety Show.
Set for premiere on April 6, the surrealistic musical comedy/music video combo marks Knapp's filmmaking debut and chronicles her life as a musician in New York, from starting a band to inadvertently making it into a hit Broadway show.
The pilot episode features the members of cabaret soul band Toot Sweet navigating an absurd world peppered with lecherous showbiz types, rowdy hooligans and mysterious socialites (portrayed by Knapp's fellow Great Comet cast members) as the band attempts to file for industry validation at the Brooklyn Band Registry. The quirky onslaught of action culminates in a decadent parlor showdown serving as the official music video for Toot Sweet's newest single, "Bloody Murder." The song itself is a powerfully unhinged ode to all those hungry performers striving for a piece of the proverbial pie, asking the simple question: how badly do you want this?
Knapp will screen the first of six episodes of Toot Sweet's Variety Show as part of a show on April 5 at Secret Project Robot in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The event will feature a special set from Toot Sweet, highlighted by guests and a live rendition of the fight choreography from the episode. Fellow Comet star Cathryn Wake will open the night with her band For You The Moon.