CVK: Clever and Vainglorious Kings
an experiment in pop-synth prophesy
In 1986, the legendary, but short lived new wave duo CVK (Clever and Vainglorious Kings) played their final show at the Orpheum Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. The band had produced only one four song EP and two full length records, and then disbanded as suddenly as they had come onto the scene. Dismissed by critics as "disco-tinged drivel" and "as pretentious as they are derivative," CVK achieved a cult status for their live shows, in which their musical performances were interwoven with political commentary, tales from their own personal narratives and (most quizzically) theatrical reenactments of Greek myths. By the release of their second and final album in 1985, the two had, in fact, assumed the characters of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo, characters they would maintain both on and off the stage until their disbandment and subsequent disappearance the following year.
In the summer of 2022, CVK came together to restage their famed '86 concert tour and to, as their press release stated, "resume their roles as the prophets, seers and bringers of light that every generation needs."
CVK: Extended Play premiered at PVD Fringe in July of 2022
Created and Performed by Jesse Hawley and James Stanley
Lighting Design by Andy Russ • Movement by Ali Kenner-Brodsky
CVK: Extended Play was produced with support from
SPACE on Ryder Farm • ArtLab at Harvard • Wilbury Theatre Group
Special Thanks to Ian Askew, Ilan Bachrach, Jesse Cannon, Sheryl Chen, Bree Edwards, Jody Elff, John Fell, Scott Havlerson Gilette, Andrew Gitchel and Theater Dance and Media at Harvard.