Bob Stillman, Linda Balgord Lead Prospect Theater's MYTHS AND HYMNS
Bob Stillman, Linda Balgord, Anika Larsen and Lucas Steele will lead the cast of Prospect Theater Company's production of Myths and Hymns, Adam Guettel's acclaimed song cycle about memory, loss and redemption. The production marks the New York premiere of stage and film director Elizabeth Lucas' narrative version of Myths and Hymns, following its 1998 concert debut at The Public Theater under the title Saturn Returns.
The announcement was made today by Prospect Theater Company Producing Artistic Director Cara Reichel and Managing Director Melissa Huber.
With music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, additional lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh, and new narrative and direction by Elizabeth Lucas, Myths and Hymns will be presented for a strictly limited engagement beginning January 31, 2012 and running through February 26 at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew located at 263 West 86th Street.
As a daughter returns to move her ailing mother out of the family home, the two wrestle with the ghosts of their father and husband, brother and son, re-living and confronting their mythologized past. Lucas' original concept brings to Guettel's celebrated song cycle a character-driven context, illuminating the intricate relationships amongst a single family.
"Adam has written this extraordinary set of songs, both specific and open to myriad interpretation," said Lucas. "As I explored writing a narrative to tie them together, clear characters emerged and started telling me a story. It isn't the story Adam started with, but a highly personal one, synthesized from the mythologies in my own life and family history. I am honored that Adam is trusting me to follow these characters where they lead."
The cast of Myths and Hymns features Bob Stillman (Grey Gardens, Dirty Blonde, Souvenir, Grand Hotel, Kiss of the Spider Woman; The Public Theater's Saturn Returns), Linda Balgord (Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, La Cage Aux Folles, The Pirate Queen, Passion, Cats), Anika Larsen (Avenue Q, Xanadu, All Shook Up), Lucas Steele (The Threepenny Opera, The Kid), Ally Bonino, Matthew Farcher and Donell Foreman.
Wendy Seyb (The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Yeast Nation, The Toxic Avenger) choreographs the production. Katya Stanislavskaya (The Arden Theater's Sunday in the Park with George) is the musical director. Musical supervision and revised orchestrations are by Robert Meffe (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Little Women). Scenic design is by Ann Bartek (A Free Man of Color, Catch Me If You Can, Elf, Desire Under the Elms). Costume design is by Emily Morgan DeAngelis (The Judy Show, Through The Night). Lighting design is by Herrick Goldman (Falling For Eve, The Who's Tommy 15th Anniversary Concert). Sound design is by Janie Bullard (We Live Here, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark). Kristine Ayers is the stage manager.
The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesdays at 7:30pm, Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm with the exception of Saturday, February 18 and Saturday, February 25 when performances will be held at 8:30pm.
Tickets, priced $50 - $65, are available by visiting www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling (212) 352-3101. The box office at the West End Theatre opens one hour prior to curtain and does not accept credit cards.
About Prospect Theater Company
Prospect Theater Company is one of America's leading producers of new musical theater. Since 2000, the company has fully produced 18 new musicals in New York City, in addition to mounting productions of new plays and classic works, and supporting other developmental opportunities for emerging musical theater writers. Prospect was founded in 1998 by five graduates of Princeton University in order to allow a diverse group of emerging theater professionals to work together in pursuit of artistic excellence and innovation. The company remains the home of founding member Peter Mills, critically-acclaimed composer / lyricist who has been honored for his work with the prestigious Cole Porter Award (2011), Kleban Prize for Lyrics (2010), and the Fred Ebb Award (2007), among others. The company membership now includes a network of almost 1,000 affiliated artists. Notable productions include: Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010), Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005).
About Adam Guettel
Adam Guettel is a composer/lyricist living in New York City. His most recent musical, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (cast album on Nonesuch Records), with a book by Craig Lucas, premiered on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater in April 2005, following a world premiere at the Intiman Theater in Summer 2003, and a second engagement at Chicago's Goodman Theater in early 2004 (where it received three Joseph Jefferson Awards including Best Musical). THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA received 6 Tony Awards including two for Mr. Guettel -- Best Original Score, and Best Orchestrations. PIAZZA also received 5 Drama Desk Awards, including two for Mr Guettel. PIAZZA received its UK premiere at the Curve Theater in Leicester in April 2009. Mr. Guettel wrote music and lyrics for FLOYD COLLINS (cast album on Nonesuch Records), which received the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and earned Mr. Guettel the Obie Award for Best Music. FLOYD COLLINS has been presented at Playwrights Horizons, New York; Prince Theatre, Philadelphia; Goodman Theatre, Chicago; Old Globe, San Diego; Bridewell, London; and elsewhere. His other works include LOVE'S FIRE, a collaboration with John Guare for The Acting Company, and SATURN RETURNS, a concert at Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. SATURN RETURNS was recorded by Nonesuch Records under the title MYTHS AND HYMNS . Four of Mr. Guettel's songs were featured on Audra McDonald's Nonesuch Records album, WAY BACK TO PARADISE (1998), two more appear on her 2000 album, HOW GLORY GOES (including the title track), and two more are on BUILD A BRIDGE (2007) including the title track. Mr. Guettel performed a concert evening of his work at New York's Town Hall in 1999. He can be heard singing four duets with Meryl Streep in the short film THE MUSIC OF REGRET (2008). Film scores include ARGUING THE WORLD, a feature documentary by Joe Dorman (1999), and the score for JACK, a two-hour documentary for CBS by Peter Davis (1994). Awards for Mr. Guettel include the Stephen Sondheim Award (1990), the ASCAP New Horizons Award (1997), and the American Composers Orchestra Award (2005).
About Elizabeth Lucas
Elizabeth Lucas conceived and directed a trio of feature-length New York City genre movies – rock musical CLEAR BLUE TUESDAY, slasher flick RED HOOK and Sci-fi FADE TO WHITE – which have received numerous awards and international distribution. She was one of the first to sign on to the New York Musical Theatre Festival as a Founding Producer and has directed new musicals, movie musical shorts, and/or dance narratives for the festival every year. As a director for Trump Plaza Atlantic City's Broadway on the Boardwalk series, she adapted and directed 90-minute productions of JEKYLL & HYDE and FOOTLOOSE. She is grateful to Adam for trusting her to put his songs in such a completely different context. Elizabeth directs regionally and is currently developing a dance narrative for stage and a musical comedy for screen.
About Wendy Seyb
Wendy Seyb creates and choreographs in theatre, dance, television and video. Her most recent credits include The Pee Wee Herman Show on Broadway and HBO. Career highlights include Off-Broadway's Yeast Nation (the triumph of life) and The Toxic Avenger, which garnered her three award nominations in the US and abroad; and Storytime Live! for Radio City Musical Hall and a subsequent National Tour. She has choreographed for numerous regional theaters including Paper Mill Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, and Philadelphia Theater Company. She collaborated with Harry Connick, Jr. on the regional premiere of his new children's musical The Happy Elf. She continues to choreograph and direct original Dance Comedies with her company EveryDay Man Adventures. Her award-winning Dance Comedies have been presented at numerous venues including Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, The Flea, The Kraine (Golden Nose Award), 37 Arts, HERE Arts Center and DRA's Gala DANCE FROM THE HEART.