On Thursday, March 1st, Peterborough comedian Dave Cave returns to The Theatre on King (TTOK) with the debut of his brand new show Lindsay Lohan’s Speak: A Classic Album Comes to Life.
A follow up to his 2014 one-man musical Madonna What the Hell: The Worst Hit Musical, in his new show Dave takes the stage to revisit a moment in pop culture history that time hasn’t really cared about.
“Nobody is asking for this,” says Dave of the concept of his new show. “Nobody is remembering this, or shining a light on this moment in pop culture history.”
Years before Lindsay Lohan became a tabloid sensation for her bad reputation and self-destructive behaviour, she tried her hand at transitioning from a teen actress to pop star. Under contract with Walt Disney, Lindsay released a few singles via Disney Radio, which led to the release of her debut album Speak in December 2004.
Although two of the album’s songs, ‘Rumors’ and ‘Over’, would appear on the music charts, and despite the album selling over 4.5 million copies worldwide, Lohan’s music career was a minor blip in not only the world of pop music, but in her own career. As an album, Speak has had no legacy.
But maybe Dave Cave can change that.
“This is not drag,” Dave clarifies. “I’m not performing as Lindsay Lohan. I’m just performing her entire album from beginning to end. I’ll be going over her career during the time she released the album, and going over some of the interviews that she’s done. I’ll be dissecting her career and persona, especially during that time period, and how it relates to that album.”
Obviously a unique idea for a performance piece, Dave’s interest in Lindsay’s album is to examine the way society looks at sexual identities between male and female celebrities.
“I’m not really a Lindsay Lohan fan to be honest,” Dave admits. “I didn’t even really care about the album until I thought of it as an idea for a show. I’m more interested in how she’s been handled, and how the conversations around her have developed.
“Culture dehumanizes people of low status, but it also dehumanizes people of extreme high status. I think the way that Lindsay was acting in her early twenties is what a regular guy does. If a rugby team had the same behaviour, they’d still be heroes though. Artists like Enimen, who talks a lot about addiction and compulsive behavior, has this sort of hero status. But when a female artist does it, she’s deemed out of control and she has to get her life back on track.”
For six months, Dave has taken the time to learn all 12 tracks from Speak on the piano, which he plans on performing for a captive audience for a three-night run at TTOK. Part of the appeal to Dave is how forgettable and unimpressive Speak is as an album.
VIDEO: “Rumors” – Lindsay Lohan
“I’m always interested in the type of art that I call ‘Hotel Lobby Art’ — art that is not polarizing,” Dave explains. “It’s not so good that it became a classic, and it’s not so bad that it became a cult classic. It’s art that has someone put so much effort into to have it go essentially nowhere in either direction. It’s also from a time period that’s not even old enough to be retro yet.
“When people find out I’m doing this they say ‘I remember when that album came out.’ They don’t say ‘I had that album’ or ‘I remember those songs’ or ‘Those were great songs’. They just remember that Lindsay Lohan did an album.”
So has Dave uncovered a hidden musical gem that has gone overlooked by the public? Will the TTOK audience rediscover a cultural touch point forgotten by the ages? Dave doesn’t think so.
“These songs were bad at the beginning, they were bad during, and they are still unenjoyable,” Dave says. “This was not a fun experience. There is no joy in this for me. I thought at first when I started that I could really rework these songs and people are going to leave wanting to buy the album. But it quickly became apparent that there is no way that will happen. I wondered, if a man sings these songs in a more revered way on piano would it make these songs good? The answer is also no.”
So if even the performer has difficulty finding a sense of substance or love for Lindsay Lohan’s Speak, why should anyone attend his show? Because it’s going to be funny.
VIDEO: “Over” – Lindsay Lohan
A clever comedian and performer, Dave has created hilarious one-man performance pieces such as Win a Date with Dave Cave and Can Everybody in the Audience Tell Me What’s Wrong with Me. With his dry yet witty delivery, Dave makes awkwardness into an art form.
Personally, I think taking a forgettable album by a notorious celebrity is a clever piece of performance art. This is something nobody should ever think about doing, but Dave is up for the challenge.
Although the TTOK performances are the show’s world debut, Dave does plan to bring the music of Lindsay Lohan to other cities and performance spaces, perhap allowing her forgettable music to find a new audience.
“Some of these songs have never been performed live by Lindsay Lohan,” Dave points out. “There were plans for a tour in Taiwan, but it got cancelled. So I’ve wondered if I could go on tour with this. I didn’t do all this work for nothing.
“I think it’d be funny if these songs toured more with me than with Lindsay Lohan. Not that I’m in competition with Lindsay Lohan at all, but I think that’d be the most ultimate thing about this.”
Lindsay Lohan’s Speak: A Classic Album Comes to Life is also being presented in conjunction with PARN, who is presenting a free workshop at TTOK on Friday, March 2nd. Hosted by Ariel O’Neill, the workshop is aimed towards women, service providers, and researchers in tackling stigmas surrounding women who use drugs.
Lindsay Lohan’s Speak: A Classic Album Comes to Life opens on Thursday, March 1st and runs until Saturday, March 3rd. Shows start at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door, or pay what you can.
VIDEO: Lindsay Lohan Catches Up with Ellen