If you don't know who Cynthia Hopkins is yet, you will sooner or later—the multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter-dancer-actor-playwright (I'm sure I'm missing something) with the distinctively sly voice ought to be headlining Webster Hall, not just opening for David Byrne. (Not that headlining St. Ann's Warehouse is anything to sneeze at, either.) Nevertheless, even if you think you know Cynthia Hopkins, you'll probably still be surprised by the deeply personal way she reveals herself in the unsparing second half of The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success), which concludes her convoluted and captivating Accidental Trilogy. But more on that later.

The effervescent first act couldn't be more different than the second; until the one hour mark the show is a triumph of flawlessly-executed silliness and mellifluous music. With the onstage help of technical wizards Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg (who hover upstage at a bank of computer monitors like temp workers filling in at NASA) Hopkins transports the audience into a whimsical future in which the human race is extinct due to nuclear folly, the sun is about to die out, and earth's dominant species is a porcine mutant. Using lush sound, sublime video and mesmerizing stagecraft, Hopkins portrays all the roles in this "Pigs in Space" lark, which has something to with our descendants' foiled attempt to reignite the sun with a nuclear bomb. But it's really about having fun with science fiction while musing on evolution, aging, and Hopkins's tendency to get "nostalgic for the ignorance of my youth."

Then all the febrile fantasy suddenly evaporates and we're left alone with the real Hopkins, her songs, stories, and an elaborate diagram about how all the previous elements to her trilogy—too diffuse to enumerate here—fit together with her actual life. It's here that she finally distinguishes between the fascinating fake mythology and the truth (spoiler: she isn't actually a member of the Sufi brotherhood, but she has suffered alcoholic blackouts so extreme that large chunks of her twenties are "irretrievably missing.") Though in some moments it starts to feel a bit too clinical, her delicious music and disarming sincerity manage to keep the raw confessional afloat. It takes a special kind of charm to turn an act of public self-forgiveness "for being a depressed, anxious loner alcoholic control freak pothead suicidal stoner with a negative judgmental critical pessimistic outlook" into an affecting live performance, but you'll find that Hopkins is capable of just about anything—once you get to know her.

Below, a giddy trailer for the sci-fi portion of The Success of Failure (or, The Failure of Success), which continues through June 7th.