The Paramount Hosts Stephin Merritt's Latest (Underwater) Opus

Nick Feldman
Stephin Merritt performs at Town Hall on Feb. 23.
Seeing as the Magnetic Fields frontman is known for his wry lyricism and striking melodies almost as well as he is for devising mammoth projects (69 Love Songs), it probably should come as little surprise that he'd take on an epic like Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Meshing the sounds of Tin Pan Alley with his trademark postmodernism, Merritt takes talents to a new musical sphere; an excerpt from the press release tells the story (bold mine).

Prolific tunesmith Stephin Merritt, of The Magnetic Fields, brings this gorgeous 1916 classic to life with his new, original score in live accompaniment to the film's new 35mm print. Billed as "the first submarine photoplay ever filmed," this pioneering adaptation of Jules Vern's 1869 novel makes a perfect muse for notoriously wry singer-songwriter Merritt, who will be joined by an ensemble including organist David Hegarty and frequent Merritt collaborator and author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) on the accordion.

I can't help but imagine a "submarine photoplay" is as impressive as it sounds. Tickets for the June 9 performance cost $25 and go on sale this Friday, April 30.

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