It’s one night, two shows. It’s got Kiss the Tiger songs and underscoring written by Kiss the Tiger. It’s got monologues and a narrative arc. It’s not a play and it’s not a rock show. It’s not the usual thing you may expect from Kiss the Tiger. But it’s cool.
Kiss the Tiger guitarist Michael Anderson—who is also frontwoman Meghan Kreidler’s partner—also writes, and a couple of years ago completed a short story called Stone Baby. During the lockdown, the pair was looking for a creative outlet, but not exactly psyched about virtual Kiss the Tiger shows. A 20-minute version of the Stone Baby performance—the story, interspersed with Kiss the Tiger songs, debuted. Trademark Theater took note and reached out, looking for commissions. Three drafts and a year later, Stone Baby was a full show, presented as a residency at Icehouse in March of 2022.
“It was really nice, because it achieved the thing we were hoping for: Bringing in a music audience and a theater audience, and a hybrid of those things,” Kreidler says.
Kreidler, a graduate of the Fine Arts program in partnership with the Guthrie through the University of Minnesota, had enjoyed critical and popular success acting around town prior to Kiss the Tiger taking off. “For awhile I was doing both—working as an actor and then I would leave a show and go do a gig really late at night,” she says. When the pandemic hit, she wondered what would happen if she reassessed the potential for the band and channeled her energy entirely on Kiss the Tiger, which was getting buzzy. “Stone Baby really marries those two loves of performing and music I have,” she says.
Stone Baby tells the story of a young girl, born with a mysterious ailment she carries with her throughout her life. As she ages, she discovers rock’n’roll and the illness starts to creep back up. “Overall, the story is about the lengths a person will go to pursue their art, no matter how dangerous or conflicting it might be,” she says.
The story wasn’t intended to be biographical, but Kreidler says there are reflections of both her and the band’s trajectory in the piece, which is probably why the songs interspersed throughout the show—which spans their discography, as well as an unrecorded song—compliment the script so well. They also created the underscoring.
Though Kreidler and Anderson haven’t always written Kiss the Tiger songs together, bu really began to collaborate on their latest release, Vicious Kid, which carried over into the work they did to create Stone Baby. “It’s fun to collaborate with Michael. I’m a little bit more practical and realistic and he’s more of a dreamer, but I think that’s what makes stuff happen between the both of us,” she says. “We balance each other out.”
That balance portends well for Kiss the Tiger’s creative future.
“I think doing the Stone Baby project opens up a whole other world we can explore as a band. It doesn’t just have to be the trajectory that every band takes in order to succeed,” she adds. “Because of my background in theater, we have this other thing we can pursue. . . It opens up the world of possibility of what we can do and makes it feel less like we have to zero in on one end goal. There really is no end goal to the amount of artistic freedom we have. It’s infinite, honestly.”
WHEN YOU GO
Doors at 5 PM (Show at 6) and 9 PM (Show at 10) w/opener Naked Brunch
Please note: Because it is a narrative piece and not a rock show, Stone Baby is meant to be seen from the very beginning.
Icehousempls.com/events or kissthetiger.com