The production is directed by Josh Sobel, who made a bit of a hit of it in Chicago, and it features a rotating slate of opening acts. I caught singer-songwriter Eugene Fertelmeyster, fingerpicking and strumming confessional tunes on an acoustic-electric guitar for about 30 minutes. His raw, unguarded manner was an appropriate warm-up to the main event.
Sobel styles the slender, hour-long “We’re Gonna Die” more like a club act than Lee did. (You can watch Lee’s 2015 performance of the piece online, with David Byrne taking the mic to sing the songs that Lee fashioned with her band Future Wife. You can also find a recording of the material with guest artists including Byrne and Laurie Anderson.) Parker has a rock belter’s voice, and this production’s conceit is that she’s a lead singer ready to perform, as opposed to an ordinary person sharing some stuff. But Parker is effectively unfussy with the weird downer experiences — a breakup, for instance, and the narrator’s father’s bizarre end-of-life sequence involving clinical trials.
The big finish involves a brief dance that ought to be magical but isn’t; Sobel’s throw-a-party ending is a bit on the nose. But it’s still uplifting, and the title tune’s unexpectedly galvanizing refrain will lodge in your ear.
We’re Gonna Die, written by Young Jean Lee. Directed by Josh Sobel. Musical direction, Marika Countouris; set design, Jos. B. Musumeci Jr.; lights, Kristin A. Thompson; costumes, Brittany Graham. About 100 minutes. Through June 15 at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda, Md. $20-$40. flyingvtheatre.com.