NEW YORK – Guitarist Peter Douskalis is performing on July 12 in a New York Musical Festival show called Bad Ass Beauty: The Rock Opera- book by Stefanie A. Seskin; music by Anthony Gemignani and LaQuinta Prince, lyrics by LaQuinta Prince and additional music and lyrics by Stefanie A. Seskin. Douskalis, who plays Kake, spoke to The National Herald about the show.
“It’s a soulful hard rock show about women’s empowerment among other things,” he told TNH. Douskalis’ background is Greek on his father’s side and Cypriot on his mother’s side, and though he noted that the show is “not very Greek themed,” it does include universal themes which are relatable to just about anyone.
According to the show’s description, “Aralyn Ford is an ugly duckling who never realized she was a swan thanks to years of abuse at the hands of her father. She’s been careening through life putting everyone else’s needs before her own to the point where even she doesn’t know which face she’s going to be wearing that day. Now, she’s on a quest to pull herself together and release her inner Alpha Female. She, her multiple personalities and her hard rockin’ band of misfits tell it like it is in this rough, raw soliloquy of sound.”
LaQuinta Prince plays Alpha Female. She received a Master’s Degree in performance from Berklee College of Music and has toured and performed with dozens of bands in the Midwest and in the New York tri-state area. Prince wrote the melodies and lyrics to all songs (with the exception of two). She formed the band Bad Ass Beauty in 2014 and is booking agent and promoter for the band. (BadAssBeauty.net.) She also runs her own talent agency. The story (with some embellishment) is influenced by her own life story.
Douskalis is a musician, arranger, and educator. He is a substitute guitarist at the Broadway shows Dear Evan Hansen and School of Rock and Off-Broadway at Desperate Measures. He has arranged music education materials for Hal Leonard Publications and has given two TEDx Talks about multicultural music education. He plays with the rock band Trapped In Static, Greek music with Pericles Kanaris and Synolon where he is also Assistant Director, Armenian music with Hooshere and Cypriot music with Sounds of Cyprus. His solo jazz guitar CD "The Dance of the Sea" received national and international acclaim in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, Jazz Journal (UK), and Cadence Magazine. He can be seen performing regularly around New York City.
Bad Ass Beauty: The Rock Opera is at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street in Manhattan, on Thursday, Jul. 12, 5 PM. The New York Musical Festival runs through August 5. More information is available online: nymf.org.