Need to Know: Alex Davis's 'Shaving' Rock Musical
By Chloe Fitzpatrick
Selections from Alex Davis’s new rock musical will be taking the stage Friday, January 25, at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Shaving, a personal narrative of transformation and growth, will feature a cast of seven and a live band behind Davis’s original music. The show is a semi-autographical tale of Davis’s transformation into becoming adult, a transgender man, and most importantly, a happier person. The musician believes there are themes that may be able to help those of us a little lost in our tracks.
“I think this is a story that hasn’t been told in this way before,” he says. “There are some parts in the story that I think are exciting and I think music, in a theater, onstage, with live actors, can definitely be used to heighten and explain in a way that just telling the story doesn’t.”
“What I’m most interested in is how a person can know they’re unhappy and not know what to do about it,” Davis explains. “And something in that person’s life changes things, wakes the person up, and shows them there’s another way to live. I feel like the process of getting to be happy is a very universal feat.”
Shaving has evolved from a one-man show performed by Davis at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn under the name Man of The Year into its current form. Davis explained that adding the other characters helped to bring in elements of the story that were missing, creating a more relationship-oriented show. Through the music, Davis uncovers pieces of his past, including growing up, losing his father, and falling in love.
“The love story is also very exciting to me because I never thought I could have a relationship. I thought I was way too screwed up for that. And I just—it changed my life. She was the catalyst that changed my life, so that’s a big part of the show.”
Davis’s transition is an important part of the story, but the truth is that explaining the logistics of a trans identity is not the purpose of including it.
“I’m open about being trans; I’m happy to talk to people about it, and I’m happy to answer certain questions about it. But to a certain extent," Davis says, "I feel like me explaining what it means to be trans, I feel like people can Google that. Like, what really is the point of me telling you that? Or educating you? But, I do want to be accessible to people that want education."
“I just saw Rock of Ages and there’s a tranny joke in it, ya know? Like a really rude one. Like, a bad one. And I thought, ‘Why is this joke in a musical on Broadway still?’ It’s still ok to make trans people the butt of a joke,” he said. “ I’m certainly happy to be a part of changing that.“
Excerpts from the extraordinary tale 'Shaving' will be presented at Joe’s Pub tomorrow night, January 25, at Joe’s Pub. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.JoesPub.com or by calling 212-967-7555.
Watch Davis perform 'Wake Me in the Morning' below: