The Unlikely Invitation


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About a week into rehearsals for the Off Broadway premiere of David Adjmi’s latest play, “Stereophonic,” Will Butler, a former member of Arcade Fire, sent an email to the cast. He had a new band, Will Butler + Sister Squares, and a new self-titled album. Butler, the composer of “Stereophonic,” proposed that the actors open for him at a club in Brooklyn for the record release party.

The Initial Doubts

Some cast members, like Sarah Pidgeon and Juliana Canfield, initially hesitated. Pidgeon, who didn’t consider herself a musician, feared failure. Canfield, known for her role in “Succession,” doubted their musical abilities. The thought of performing after just a few weeks of preparation seemed like a recipe for embarrassment.

The Unexpected Performance

Despite their doubts, the actors—Will Brill, Juliana Canfield, Tom Pecinka, Sarah Pidgeon, and Chris Stack—decided to take on the challenge. On Sept. 23, at the Williamsburg club Elsewhere, they stood onstage in front of a live audience who were unaware that the band was fictional. Without scripted lines or characters to hide behind, the actors embraced the moment, feeling a mix of panic and exhilaration as they played their roles as a band.

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