7pm | Wednesday 3 August 2016 | Cubitt Square, Stable Street, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AB


Tête à Tête is delighted to return to King’s Cross for the Cubitt Sessions, a free, outdoor live performance series featuring six days of brand new and improvised pop-up opera.


Fresh off a sold-out run at New York’s PROTOTYPE Festival, the eponymous 5-piece band Bombay Rickey (praised as “a true treat for the adventurous ear” by TimeOut) brings its hit opera cabaret to London.


“Inspired by the music of Yma Sumac, the show mixes opera, surf rock, and Bollywood to explore the questions of diversity and authenticity, with “a little good-natured fun poked at contemporary controversies over cultural appropriation… in a rocking musical show” – (Wall Street Journal)



Here’s a riddle for you: Picture Yma Sumac, Mozart, some Western hippies looking for Indian enlightenment, a couple of blazing hot Bollywood stars, a surf rock guitarist with accompanying surf goddess, a jazz saxophone player, a soaring coloratura soprano, and a very troublesome coyote.


Got that?


Now, all of them walk into a bar and order the same cocktail. What do they order?


A Bombay Rickey, of course.


Welcome to the land of respectful re-imagining, of shaking up, muddling, then clarifying. Good cocktails, after all, are a sum of ingredients that you perhaps wouldn’t think about throwing together, and in the right hands mixing oddly disparate musical flavors can yield a pretty darn colorful sound.


Kamala Sankaram, Drew Fleming, and Jeff Hudgins have the right hands and the right vocal cords for the job. The trio is the nucleus of the five-piece New York-based ensemble known as Bombay Rickey, along with percussionist Brian Adler and upright bassist Gil Smuskowitz. The music runs wild, far beyond category but without losing sight of the sources of the many musics they love. There’s kitsch and myth, divine sounds and crazy offshoots, yet it all mixes well, like the cocktail the band is named for.




Find out more about the band via their official website: http://bombayrickey.com/


To view the full programme for King’s Cross’ Cubitt Sessions, visit: https://www.kingscross.co.uk/event/cubitt-sessions


Photos from our Cubitt Sessions are available below, © Claire Shovelton 2016.


Bombay Rickey


Voice/Accordion Kamala Sankaram

Saxophone/Voice Jeff Hudgins

Guitar/Voice Drew Fleming
Bass Gil Smuskowitz

Drums/Percussion Brian Shankar Adler

Playwright Rob Handel

Director Kristin Marting
Costume Designer Machine Dazzle


Kamala Sankaram (Voice/Accordion) has been praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times). Commissions include: Beth Morrison Projects, HERE Arts Center, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and Opera on Tap. Awards and grants include: Kevin Spacey Foundation, Jonathan Larson Award, Opera America, NY Innovative Theatre Award: Outstanding Musical. Her opera, THUMBPRINT, will appear in 2016/17 at Opera Ithaca and LA Opera.

Jeff Hudgins (Saxophone/Voice) Saxophonist Jeff Hudgins is a transplanted Texan whose music has been described as “somewhat menacing” (New York Music Daily). He has toured in the US and Europe and has premiered Zorn, Berne and Harbison. Outside of Bombay Rickey, he writes for the NYC groups Anti-Social Music and Opera On Tap.

Drew Fleming (Guitar/Voice) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer with influences ranging from hardcore punk to western swing. He has toured the world with AntiSocial Music, Kaiser Cartel, and Bombay Rickey. Drew is earning a doctorate in Music Theory and teaches music and popular culture at Manhattan College.

Gil Smuskowitz (Bass) Gil Smuskowitz has been a professional musician since he was 16. Before moving to New York, he served as the bassist in the IDF orchestra and the Israel Youth Philharmonic. He received his bachelor of music degree from the City College of New York, studying with John Patitucci, Ray Gallon, and Shelia Jordan.

Brian Shankar Adler (Drums/Percussion) is known for his “earthy” sound, nuanced textures and his forward thinking rhythmic concepts. According to Canadian Audiophile, “Adler’s music flows organically in pursuit of mystery.” Adler has performed around the world with: Bomba de Tiempo, Bombay Rickey, Guillermo Klein, Kate McGarry, Prana Trio and Elizabeth Swados among others.

Rob Handel (Playwright) is a playwright and librettist from Poughkeepsie, New York. His collaborations with Kamala Sankaram include the techno-noir opera LOOKING AT YOU. Rob heads the dramatic writing program at Carnegie Mellon University, serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony, and was a founding member of 13P.


Kristin Marting (Director) is a director of hybrid work based in NYC. Over the last 25 years, she has constructed 27 stage works, including 12 original hybrid works, 8 reimaginings of novels and short stories and 7 classic plays. Kristin was recently named a nytheatre.com Person of the Year for outstanding contribution, a Woman to Watch by ArtTable and honored with a BAX10 Award. She is co-Founder and Artistic Director of HERE, an award winning performance space in NYC, and co- Director of Prototype Festival where Bombay Rickey premiered.

Machine Dazzle (Costume Designer) has been dazzling stages via costumes, sets, and performance since his arrival in New York in 1994. Conceptualist-as-artist meets DI meets “glitter rhymes with litter.” Credits include Justin Vivian Bond’s Lustre, 2008; Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge, 2009; Justin Vivian Bond’s Re:Galli Blonde, 2011; Taylor Mac’s Walk Across America For Mother Earth, 2012; Chris Tanner’s Football Head, 2014; Basil Twist’s Sisters Follies, 2015; and currently working on Taylor Mac’s A 24 Decade History of American Popular Music scheduled for 2016.