A Rock Opera by The Pretty Things
Presented November 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 1999
SF Sorrow tells the cautionary tale of Sebastian F Sorrow; a nobody. With fatalistic resign he navigates through his life working in the “factories of misery” of an industrialized and unforgiving world where rain falls relentlessly and life is squeezed out drop by drop. We follow Sorrow from birth though adolescence; witness his early stirrings of love; the horror of war; the tragedy of loss; and the madness which eventually engulfs him after his fateful exchange with the sinister Baron Saturday.
The first true full-length rock opera, released in 1968, SF SORROW features a surprisingly relevant rock score brought to life by a cast of 14, a 6 piece rock band and a multi-image light show. The Production featured standout performances by Peter Moore as SF Sorrow, Linda Bean as Sally, the girl next door, Gene Dante as the Narrator and Mick Maldonado as Baron Saturday.
The Pretty Things, rock and roll’s unrepentant original bad boys, have a long and illustrative career. Breaking onto the scene during the first “British Invasion” of the mid-sixties the Pretties, like the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and Kinks, demonstrated loudly that not all British bands were lovable mop-tops. The rawness of their sound and their off-stage antics foreshadowed what would become the de-rigure “bad” attitude for alternative rock groups to this day. They also managed to record a lot of great records along the way including SF Sorrow and Parachute, both recently re-released on Snapper Music, and they managed to stay alive. The Pretty Things themselves performed SF Sorrow live in concert for the first time in 1998 at Abbey Road Studios (with a live webcast and special guest David Gilmour), released a new CD Rage Before Beauty and completed a US tour (their first in almost twenty-five years!)
In BRO’s hands… the cold, brutal fatalism of the narrative… was infused with poignant drama, and the sense that at the story’s center beats a still-striving human heart.
— Jonathan Perry, Boston Phoenix
S. F. Sorrow is a dramatic, entertaining night of theater that should not be missed.
— digitalcity Boston