Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir, Chloe Webb and Hal Willner
Reverend Billy has won an OBIE Award, the Alpert Award, The Dramalogue Award and The Historic Districts Council's Preservation Award and has been jailed more than 50 times. He was a central figure of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and toured 25 OWS tent communities from Zurich to Oakland, CA with the Stop Shopping Choir. He has run for New York City mayor on the Green Party ticket. Reverend Billy has released three CDs, three documentary films, published two books and is the subject of thousands of citizen videos on the internet. Reverend Billy and his longtime collaborator Savitri D are frequent guests of news media, having appeared on The Today Show, CBS Evening News, Nightline, Fox News, Al-Jazeera, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Colmes, Democracy Now, NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace,” Geraldo Rivera, CNN, The Tavis Smiley Show, The BBC World Service, BBC 1 and numerous other local and regional affiliates and international print outlets.
The Stop Shopping Choir is a New York City based radical performance community, with 50 performing members and a congregation in the thousands. They are wild anti-consumerist gospel shouters and earth loving urban activists who have worked with communities on four continents defending land, life and imagination from reckless development and the extractive imperatives of global capital. They employ multiple tactics and creative strategies, including cash register exorcisms, retail interventions and cell phone operas. The choir represents an array of economic, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds and has members from five continents, among them scientists, teachers, artists, therapists, welders, cyclists, builders, hairdressers, dog walkers, actors, truck drivers, tech geeks, scholars and executives.
An actress, writer and director, Chloe Webb was found off-off-broadway for her first film, cult classic Sid and Nancy and named Best Actress by The National Society of Film Critics, followed by Peter Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect, and many independent films and comedies including Twins and Ghostbusters 2. She's received a Critics Circle nomination for hurricane Monica Gallagher on Shameless, was Mona Ramsey on the PBS adaptation of Tales of the City, and an Emmy nom for USO singer Laurette on China Beach. Work onstage includes classic and modern plays, the original cast of long-running musical satire Forbidden Broadway and two decades of spoken word and performance art including many Hal Wilner projects among them The Raven with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson at St. Ann's Warehouse, “The DeSade/Burroughs/Poe show” at The Issue Project Room and Lets Eat: Feasting on Fireside Theater at Royce Hall. Webb directed Allenn Ginsberg's Kaddish with a score by Bill Frisell with Wilner as his friend Alan for Phillip Glass's birthday at The Armory and a raucous musical Hunter Thompson's The Kentucky Derby at The San Francisco Jazz Festival. She also directed the documentary Surfing Thru which debuted at Cannes and won Best Documentary at The Santa Cruz film Festival. She's a member of The Los Angeles Writers and Poets collective and anthologized in ONTHEBUS.
Hal Willner is a music producer for albums, films, television and live events, best known for his invention of the “concept album,” for providing “sketch music adaptations” for Saturday Night Live for over three decades and as music producer for the unrivaled TV series, Night Music. Willner has produced important records for Marianne Faithfull, Lou Reed, Macy Gray, Bill Frisell (Grammy-Best Contemporary Jazz Album), Lucinda WIlliams and Laurie Anderson. His debut concept album focused on Fellini’s composer (Amarcord Nino Rota), then Thelonius Monk, Kurt Weill, Charles Mingus, Disney, Edgar Allan Poe. Live events celebrating Poe, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Doc Pomus, Bill Withers, Shel Silverstein, Allan Sherman and Harry Smith have played venues including London’s Barbican, the Luminato and Adelaide Festivals and Sydney Opera House. Films include: Robert Altman’s Short Cuts and Kansas City, Wim Wenders’ Million Dollar Hotel and Martin Scorcese’s Gangs of New York. Willner also collaborates with theater director Robert Wilson, most recently on The Old Woman with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe. He has appeared onstage narrating Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish,” directed by Chloe Webb, at UCLA, San Francisco Jazz Festival and the Park Avenue Armory in New York.