HBO Original Documentary TAYLOR MAC’S 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC Debuts June 27
Film Captures Mac’s 24-Hour Performance, Which Reframes American History Through Popular Songs From 1776 Through 2016
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• HBO Original documentary film TAYLOR MAC’S 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC, produced and directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (HBO’s “The Celluloid Closet,” “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”), debuts TUESDAY, JUNE 27 (9:00-10:46 p.m. ET/PT) on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. The film is an official selection of the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.
• Synopsis: In 2016, Taylor Mac performed a one-time-only, 24-hour immersive theatrical experience in front of a live audience at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. The concert offered an alternative take on U.S. history, narrated through music that was popular from the nation’s founding to the present, with Mac transforming hourly by changing into elaborate, decade-specific costumes by Mac’s longtime collaborator Machine Dazzle. The documentary, TAYLOR MAC’S 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC, captures Mac’s marathon performance in New York, alongside footage from other shows on the tour, which played throughout the world. In the show, Mac and 24 musicians interpret 24 songs, from “Yankee Doodle” to “Gimme Shelter,” “Born to Run,” and “Gloria,” with one performer leaving the stage each hour, until Mac is on stage alone in the final 24th hour.
• Rich with stunning musical performances, surprising and revelatory historical interpretation, comedic banter, and audience interaction, the performance is intercut with intimate off-stage interviews with Mac and his closest collaborators. In the interview, Mac, who uses the gender pronoun “judy,” outlines judy’s personal story and artistic aim “to dream the culture forward.” The film also offers a behind-the-scenes window into the work of costume designer Machine Dazzle, who incorporates elaborate, humorous references to American life in each of the 24 decades depicted in Mac’s wildly extravagant outfits.
• Featured Participants: MacArthur Genius Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac is joined on-screen by his stage co-director co-director Niegel Smith, musical director Matt Ray, costume designer Machine Dazzle and make-up designer Anastasia Durasova. On stage, Mac is accompanied by singers Erin Hill, Steffanie Christi’an, Heather Christian, Thornetta Davis and Anais Mitchell, among others, a 24-piece orchestra, and a surprising number of willing audience members.
• Credits: HBO Documentary Films in association with Content Superba presents TAYLOR MAC’S 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC, a Telling Pictures and Pomegranate Arts Production in association with Fifth Season and Nature’s Darlings. Directed and produced by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman; produced by Joel Stillerman, Linda Brumbach, Alisa E. Regas, Taylor Mac, Mari Rivera. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller; coordinating producer, Anna Klein.
June 26, 2023 7:00am ET by Pressparty