Photo Courtesy of Ben Strothmann
Photo Courtesy of Ben Strothmann

Brooklyn based composer, pianist, and performance artist Michael Harren is wearing a shield of armor these days–but only haphazardly. Currently, he’s preparing for his solo show, Tentative Armor  directed  by Adam Fitzgerald. Manhattan Digest caught up with this musical dynamo to discuss his debut at NYC’s esteemed Dixon Place on March 19th @ 7:30 PM

MD: Can you elaborate on the title of your show? 

MH: Tentative Armor refers to those things we do to protect ourselves, but only half-heartedly. For instance, if a subway stranger falls asleep on our shoulder, we can become totally annoyed. But on the other hand, we can understand the sweetness in this. The whole show is really a spiritual journey about our  willingness to become creative. Some of the pieces have already existed. I was in a Queer performance group in the 90s called QUAC in Houston, TX. So I’ve taken some of those pieces and added new ones. I also drew inspiration through experiences with my mother.

MD: Will the music  be original or will there be covers?

MH: The show has completely original songs (by me), but it is more of a theater piece than a concert. There will some comedic monologues as well.

MD: Have you performed this show before? 

MH: I have done some readings of it, including one at Judson Memorial Church, but this is the first fully staged performance.

MD: Who are your musical  influences? 

MH: I have many, but I would say that the inspiration for this show is mostly drawn from  combination of Laurie Anderson and Louis C.K.

An interesting combination for sure , but there is little doubt that Harren’s audience is in for an intimate and reflective evening of performance. After all, if he is good enough for delicious diva  Sandra Bernhard (for whom he continues to serve  as a piano  accompanist),  then he has earned his status with the rest of us!

WHAT: Michael Harren’s Tentative Armor 

WHEN: Wednesday March 19th at 7:30

HOW TO BUY: For tickets and more information, visit or