Wunderbaum and Kopna Kopna: Lost Chord Radio


U.S. Premiere

"Lost Chord Radio blows through the tent at hurricane speed, opening it up more and more and exposing you to the elements. Drama with the energy of a pop concert"Eindhovens Dagblad

Fueled by a throbbing rock music score, the inventive theatrical adventure Lost Chord Radio combines the talents of acclaimed Dutch theater ensemble Wunderbaum and renegade music group Kopna Kopna--all portraying the eccentric citizens of a small New Mexico town plagued by natural disasters. Locusts, floods and various "acts of God" bring out the best and worst in this strange cast of characters in a high-velocity performance rich with poignancy, humor and emotional intensity. 

(Additional Information:)

A minuscule variable at the start of a chain of events may ultimately lead to a huge change.

The following production notes were written when the performers were still working under the name JongHollandia, rather than Wunderbaum. From the program for the Basel, Switzerland Theater Festival:

The young actors collective Jonghollandia joined ZT Hollandia at the start of the since the 2001/2002 season. Their aim is to reach new audiences. “Content, location and audience are linked. We will not, so to speak, perform Hamlet in a factory. We write, direct and organize everything ourselves, because we believe this is the best way to achieve a collective narration, and it also enables us to make topical theatre. We are also convinced that theatre should be an experience. We explore the limits of existing theatrical laws.”

As Jonghollandia, the actors are creating two performances per season for ZT Hollandia. In addition, they work as freelance actors in the Netherlands and Belgium. Lost Chord Radio. This production is made in cooperation with the Dutch Band Kopna Kopna, and therefore has the energy of a pop concert.

From a mobile radio station, Jonghollandia and Kopna Kopna will report a coming storm in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A disaster can cause many coincidental engagements, happenings and smaller disasters. Fear, loss of control, a grasshopper plague and six-packs of beer.

The performance is about a group of people who at the beginning of this hectic century set out in search of the lost chord--a chord of beauty and meaning. How will the bar lady Tess cope, or the drinking Beat Poet Bizon, the typical careerist Ed, the slightly neurotic mother Jenny and how the sensual schoolgirl Lynn...?

Kopna Kopna’s music: tricky, funky and direct, is characterized by spectacular drum variations and hard assembled cuts. Kopna Kopna produces unconventional and unexpected arrangements, boldly paving a new path through mainstream music. This up and coming band, five members strong, instantly engages the audience with its unique brand of joyful, raging Art Rock.

Last year, De Volkskrant newspaper wrote the following about the band: “Defiant songs in which the traditional concept of stanza-chorus-stanza is consigned to the rubbish heap in favour of crossovers and angular art pop. Music, which managed to turn many a listener's amazement into admiration”.

All band members are graduates of the Music Academy and the Art Academy in The Hague. Meanwhile they have experience at pop venues as well as on the stage (ZT Hollandia, ‘t Barre Land, De Appel, Toneelgroep Amsterdam).

Lost Chord Radio reviews

NRC HANDELSBLAD, 4th July 2003, Kester Freriks

Jonghollandia and Kopna Kopna fuse radio and theatre, rock and funk, sentiment and unimaginable natural forces in this piece of music-theatre. All the stories from Los Alamos in New Mexico come together in the DJ Lou Palmer, a brilliantly low-key performance by Rik Elstgeest.

The monologue by the barmaid Tess (Marleen Scholten) is also outstanding, as she tells with suppressed rage that she drinks a glass for every man who left her, made her pregnant, abused her or died.

Running through this drama, squeezing its way harshly in between, sometimes in an attractive form of bluesy harmony and sometimes entirely independently, as if we were at a spectacular pop concert, is the sound of the Kopna Kopna guitars, the hard beat of drums and howling percussion. This really is ‘the sound of the city’.

What is so clever about Jonghollandia and Kopna Kopna is that they have made perfect use of the roof of the car park; this is something that is often lacking in location projects, but fortunately not this time.

EINDHOVENS DAGBLAD, 5th July 2003, Peter Borgers

Emotions fly through the air in these stories of the angry barmaid, the manless mother, the shy schoolgirl and the drunken poet. Real contact between people is more difficult and always founders.

Jonghollandia draw you into a whirlwind as the storm thunders through the play. Lost Chord Radio blows through the tent at hurricane speed, opening it up more and more and exposing you to the elements. Drama with the energy of a pop concert, that is this young company’s basic principle. And in this play it works, with Jonghollandia backed up by Kopna Kopna. This group has high standards both technically and creatively, and the expressive sounds underline the drama. The hard rocking numbers approach the meteorological intensity of Lost Chord Radio as an invisible stage set made of vibrations.

Before you know it the storm has blown over, everything has finished and the rubble can be cleared away.

DE VOLKSKRANT, 14th August 2003, Karin Veraart

For this play, the five Jonghollandia actors took their inspiration from, among other things, the book Bad Wisdom, in which two rock stars go in search of the all-embracing chord, the ‘lost chord’; a quest which in this play also represents the one for the deeper meaning of things.

This struggle the characters have, with life and no less with the elements -- after the scorching heat came a plague of locusts, a flood and a hailstorm -- is excellently portrayed by the actors and musicians in fluent ensemble acting.

The actors depict their characters with smooth strokes: Ed the know-all, who thinks he can ward off any catastrophe, the half-hysterical Jenny, the rather dizzy schoolgirl Lynn, the barmaid Tess and the blind drunk poet Bizon; they do not have much space in this narrow tent, but with the right body language, a single prop and the music, they expand into people of flesh and blood in a grotesque setting. 

Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Associated Images: 


Date/Time G ST CA
Wed 3.22.06 8:30 pm
$24 $16 $12
Thu 3.23.06 8:30 pm$24$16$12
Fri 3.24.06 8:30 pm$24$16$12
Sat 3.25.06 8:30 pm$24$16$12
Sun 3.26.06 8:30 pm$24$16$12

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff