“You can be sure that a winsomely wicked bon mot will fly by every minute or so.” - NY Times.
“If, as Paul Rudnick contends, ‘opera is music gone mad,’ what’s it called when a giddy profusion of one-liners achieves the lunatic rhythm of music?” - NY Newsday.
Valhalla is a comic and affecting look at two disparate and passionate individuals both searching for a life of operatic beauty. King Ludwig II was the 1860's ruler known as “The Mad King of Bavaria” - madly in love with Wagnerian opera and remembered for dotting the Teutonic countryside with ornate castles. Ludwig's aesthetic passions are redoubled through James Avery, a dangerously precocious 1940's teenager marooned amidst the brown wallpaper and pink chenille bedspreads of Dainsville, Texas. Rudnick, with his trademark wit, intertwines Ludwig's and James's adventures in sex, war, music, glory, and architecture, and movingly charts the consequences of their obsession with the extraordinary.