Abigail Bengson had experienced a prophetic dream involving
the love of her life and a diner booth during a tumultuous time at
age 15. So, years later, when she first got to know fellow musician
(and her future husband) Shaun Bengson over a meal at an Astoria
diner, she knew something was right. That night, she broke up with
For the Bengsons’ second date, Abigail
moved into Shaun’s tiny Astoria apartment.
And now, a decade later, the married couple
32 DECEMBER 2 0 1 7
(who double as a band called The Bengsons)
are telling their love story on stage in
Manhattan in a piece called "Hundred Days."
It’s not so much a play or musical as a “theatrical
concert,” as director Anne Kauffman
describes it. Abigail and Shaun Bengson perform
as themselves on stage, taking the audience
through their first few months together
using original folk-punk songs (and their gorgeous,
versatile voices). The cast is filled out
with a few other performers, all of whom play
instruments and sing backup, and sometimes
ask questions or make comments about the
Bengsons’ story as they tell it.
“The entire cast is truly our band. It’s a
show told deeply with music and concert
tools,” Abigail Bengson said. “We’ve really
focused on using the tools that are naturally
onstage when you play in a band.”
Lest you think the Bengsons’ love story will
be all sunshine and roses, there was a second
part to Abigail’s prophetic dream. We won’t reveal
any spoilers here, but soon after meeting,
the couple was spurred to live their entire lives
together in just 100 days before a tragedy that
Abigail had foreseen.
Their real-life story may seem fantastical —
a sense that is enhanced by the enchanting
music and some ethereal additions to the
simple stage setup — but the sense of fate is
enough to give the audience goosebumps.
By KATRINA MEDOFF