The Majestic Show. We receive music recommendations on a daily basis. Very few local bands have been brought to our attention more than Home By Hovercraft. The Dallas band is built around the husband and wife duo of Seth and Shawn Magill. The five-piece has a sound that is reminiscent of Beirut, Tilly and the Wall, and Amanda Palmer. Yes, we know that doesn’t make sense, but listen to “Rocket” and you will understand…. This is anthemic music at its best. You will sing. You will dance. You will have a better day after listening to Home By Hovercraft. The group is also known to put on excellent shows.
D Magazine. “Nouveau 47 and Spacegrove Productions’ gave us a new musical that’s joyful, original, engaging, restorative; with a cast, crew, and creators who so clearly delight in testing the boundless limits of the stage.” — Liz Johnstone
“As busy as we are, it is not often that critics get a chance to see a play more than once, especially ones that we are not reviewing. When I heard the unbelievable buzz about this show, I had to check it out. I was blown away to the point that I saw this musical extravaganza of wit, whimsy, and whirlwind performances twice.” — M. Lance Lusk
“It feels as if Dallas theater is on the cusp of a new era of greatness, and what better evidence than the last show of the year, the time-travel musical On the Eve? Written by Kitchen Dog actor Michael Federico and Home by Hovercraft band members Shawn and Seth Magill (who also played time-challenged hero “Chase Spacegrove”), the show directed and designed by Jeffrey Schmidt filled tiny Magnolia Lounge with really good rock music, Irish step-dancing, eye-popping bits of stage magic and stirring performances. The too-short 10-performance run left standing-room-only audiences begging for encores. If any show needs a repeat in 2013, it’s this one.” - Elaine Liner
Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News. On the Eve is such a mix of the pretentious and the random that it shouldn’t work at all. Against all odds, however, it’s one of the most entertaining and exhilarating theatrical events of the year. Go figure….Magill and his wife, Shawn Magill — leaders of the rock band Home by Hovercraft — wrote the songs for the show, and the classically trained Shawn leads the onstage band from the keyboards. The music brings depth and power to the fragmented, postmodern script.
Liz Johnstone, D Magazine, December 2012. The experience is a novel one, right down to the clever clogging of the two talented Irish dancers (Abbey Magill and Shannon McCauley) that infuses the music with percussive sound and the idea of a living, bleeding statue (played by Maryam Baig) who ends up having the greatest instinct for self-preservation. It’s still the most fun I’ve had at a show in ages; what’s more, the cast and crew seem to feel the same way. It’s alchemy of casting and process, but also of a freewheeling story that actively disclaims perfection yet still holds together admirably.
Elaine Liner, Dallas Observer, December 2012. It’s about time a Dallas theater birthed a cracking good musical. This one, directed and designed by Jeffrey Schmidt, with a 12-song score by Dallas band Home by Hovercraft‘s Seth and Shawn Magill, is a small show that feels like the start of something big. Moving with the same throbbing beats and sexy energy of the musical Spring Awakening, it also is brimming over with the dark wit of the movies Back to the Future and Time Bandits. Good theater should inspire joy. In this show’s 135 minutes, joyful scenes and songs spill out like colorful candy. It’s Alice in Wonderland meets A Wrinkle in Time with a nod to Evita and a wink at Warner Bros. cartoons.
Richard S Blake, The Column / Examiner / Pegasus News, December 2012. Spectacular, nothing less than spectacular! Spacegrove Productions & Nouveau47 Theatre presents a new rock musical with style, excitement, phenomenal vocals and astounding performances. “History is revision, words are power, time travel is cool.” With an introduction like that, how can you not be intrigued? The new rock musical On The Eve is a superb combination of musical presentation(s) that will amaze you. The creators and collaborators of this new work definitely know what they are doing and have obviously taken the time to get it right…. As I said, how do you explain it? Generally On The Eve deals with life’s decisions, how they affect you and those around you and, if you could, would you try to change them hoping for a “better” outcome? It’s a truly brilliant concept and its presentation is simply perfect. You definitely have to take the time to experience this exciting new rock musical. Let me be the first to say I’m sure it’s New York bound. I’d love to be there opening night at say, Circle in the Square Theatre, sit back, and revel in the success, talent and truly extraordinary creation called On The Eve created right here in Dallas.
David Novinski, Theater Jones, December 2012. With the enigmatic, rocking musical On the Eve, Spacegrove Productions and Home by Hovercraft create a show you won’t soon forget. [Home By Hovercraft’s] wall of sound will envelope you with lush color and swirling fragrance with a beat that will enlist you in its bouncing anthem stomp. You could use Polyphonic Spree as a reference point, but just when you’ve taken their measure the rhythm is reinforced by synchronized Irish step dancers. The only quibble may be the lack of an encore. So, if you want more, you’ll just have to return…. This show seems born out of a desire for revolution but with the real awareness of the consequences. Characters/players are given chances to see and change their circumstances, but then must face the music, literally. Go and you’ll be inspired to face the music with them.
On the cusp. On the edge. On the brink. On the mark. On the lam. On the nose. On the money. On The Eve
Alexandra Bonifield, Critical Rant, December 2012. Mother Nature, blood-red in tooth and claw, jangles her gaudy bangles and flashes a predatory grin, relishing the prospect of portentous paradigm shift in Nouveau 47’s ribald, uninhibited, anti-establishment World Premiere rock musical On the Eve, book by Michael Federico with songs written and played live by local band Home By Hovercraft. “History is Revision. Words are Power. Time Travel is Cool.” Sitting through its performance (moderately full house on a sunny Sunday afternoon) is how I imagine injecting the sweetest heroin might feel, minus the dirty needle and nasty addictive aspect, pure joy flowing straight to the heart. It’s flawed. It gets repetitive. It’s loud. But what a glorious emergence of a new, raw, honest, raucous, energized, sensual, celebratory work of art. You want to be there, let a piece of it rub off, seep into your pores, wear down your world-weary cynicism as ye slouch towards Bethlehem, Ozymandias. Glimpse cast members rockin’ out to the onstage beat back stage. Join in. At the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park…. On The Eve is one of the most genuine, risky, creative, committed stage works I’ve had the pleasure to experience this year. It should be On Your Schedule to attend. You’ll come out smarter, sexier and happier, after.
Mitchell Owens, Radio UTD, December 2012. Trying to describe the plot would be a futile effort, because it’s so insane and intricate that I couldn’t begin to do it justice. But it is a look into storytelling, and what would happen if the players in the story decided to take the plot and their fate into their own hands and away from the ones in charge of making decisions. It involves Marie Antoinette, a time-travelling hot-air balloon, a dystopian reality, a failed hero of a future space cowboy, and a living, talking statue. It’s every bit as crazy and awesome as it sounds.
Richard Sullivan, D Magazine, November 2012. During this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase, Home by Hovercraft owned the stage at Club Dada with their effusive, anthemic pop. They appeared too experienced for a band that had just landed on the scene — and for good reason. Home by Hovercraft’s long and peculiar genesis is reminiscent of what famously buoyant PBS artist Bob Ross would call “a happy accident.” To put it another way: when life hands you a marriage, a vintage xylophone, an Irish step-dancing sister, and a tuba you do not know how to play, start a band.
It takes money to make money - ARTCON
Dallas Observer. It takes money to make money, and so it also takes money to raise money. Saturday night, Art Conspiracy continued its trajectory with a seed event to prepare for their fall shindig, and moving from Sons of Herman Hall to Life in Deep Ellum gave the art being auctioned off an improved home within their pseudo-gallery space. Home by Hovercraft won over the crowd with their filmic melodies.
Dallas Observer. Seen anyone new lately that raised your eyebrows? I just saw a show this last weekend that had three amazing bands on the bill. First was Home by Hovercraft, who really blew me away. They have a very engaging and energetic live show and I’d highly recommend checking them out.
More Press Links
We Only Have Limited Control - Jamie Laughlin, Dallas Observer, November 2012
The Eve of Something Big - Mark Lowry, Theater Jones, November 2012
Where The Heart Is – Home By Hovercraft explains how they came to write a time travelling musical - Hannah Allen White, Central Track, November 2012
Home By Hovercraft – Get to Know Your Dallas Observer Music Awards Nominees - Audra Schroeder, Dallas Observer, November 2012
Party to Raise Funds for Home By Hovercraft Musical - Rachel Stone – Lakewood Advocate, May 10 2012
Paving the Way for New Works - Mark Lowry – Theater Jones, April 24 2012
Benefit preview for new rock musical about Marie Antoinette - Lawson Taitte – Dallas Morning News, April 17 2012
Excerpt from Q&A with Tom Parr IV, Artistic Director at Nouveau47. - Mark Lowry – Theater Jones, January 22 2012
2012 Forecast: Homegrown Plays - Mark Lowry – Theater Jones, January 5 2012
Off with their heads and on with the Show in On The Eve - Elaine Liner – Dallas Observer, November 15 2011
Home By Hovercraft produces rock-n-roll musical - Rachel Stone – Lakewood Advocate, November 14 2011