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Matthew Alvin Brown follows 'Rainbow' opus from album, film to Big Apple

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le="MARGIN: auto 0in"> BIG-APPLE STAGE
Brown said Saturday's version of his movie-turned-musical is what he will stage for Big Apple audiences at the Sept. 28-Oct. 18 festival.

"We'll make some changes after the reading, based on audience reaction, but this is close to the final product," Brown said.

Described as a fantastical odyssey of a man finding himself by losing himself, "Rainbow" tells the story of flamboyant local rock hero Zachary Blasto, who struggles with personal demons as he relives both painful and joyous memories during a radio retrospective of his career that turns into a circus-like dissection of broken hearts, life through a liquor bottle, and rebirth through loss.

"Rainbow" began its life as a 2006 concept album written by Brown and performed by his former band, The Fellowship Students. The film version that followed came out of a collaboration between Brown and local filmmakers Kevin Ely and Beau Leland, and premiered at 2008's South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It since has since screened at several other festivals, winning Best Oklahoma Film at that year's deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City.

Brown has been working with his former Fellowship Students bandmate Nathan Siler, who produced and arranged the album version of "Rainbow," in order to rework many of the songs for the stage.

"The songs are going to have a much harder edge in the show," Brown said. "The album is very glossy and highly produced. It needed to be stripped down for the spirit of the show. We've also written some new songs that aren't in the film or the album."

From album, to film, to stage, Brown said the "Rainbow" story has changed slightly each time to fit its medium.

"In a film, you can tell so much by seeing one frame," he said. "On stage, you have to be much more literal."

Rainbow Around the Sun stages at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 N.W. 16th.  

"?Eric Webb

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