“…recalls the dark, hallucinatory world of Jerzy Kosinski’s ‘the Painted Bird’ while at the same time surpassing it.” 

The Washington Post, on Joseph Skibell's novel

“A Blessing on the Moon” is a new music-theater work based on the novel by Joseph Skibell (published by Algonquin Books, 1997) and produced by Animal Stone Productions.

The Story

The journey of Chaim Skibelski, who has just been shot dead, and his Rabbi, who is now a crow, as they wander through Poland searching for an afterlife, lends itself easily to the genre of music-theater. Words, music and movement can be expressive of the edges of experience explored in the magical realism of this epic narrative, which contains wry humor, poetry, and a sharp sense of each character's perspective, even extending to the Polish family that has moved into the protagonist’s home, and the German soldier who has shot him.   

“You’ve never read a book like this before—part Holocaust memoir, part ghost story, part Hebrew folklore, part surrealistic road epic.”

The Bloomsbury Review

The Music

In keeping with the location and cultural milieu of the libretto, musical interludes for a wordless chorus are drawn from Polish folk roots. The piece is presently scored for a cabaret instrumentation based on the performers of The Warsaw Village Band, as follows:

  • 2 Alto Women’s Voices
  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Tsimbl (hammered dulcimer)
  • Percussion