Long Wharf Theatre, Public Theater, Present FEBRUARY HOUSE
Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, presents the world premiere of February House, directed by Davis McCallum, with music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and book by Seth Bockley.
Long Wharf Theatre is uniting with The Public Theater in New York to produce February House, a new musical featuring the music of up-and-comer Gabriel Kahane. The musical will bow on Stage II February 15 through March 18. The press opening is Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45-$65.
The cast includes Stanley Bahorek (Benjamin Britten), Ken Barnett (Peter Pears), Ken Clark (Reeves McCullers), Julian Fleisher (George Davis), Stephanie Hayes (Erika Mann), Erik Lochtefeld (W.H. Auden), Kacie Sheik (Gypsy Rose Lee), A.J. Shively (Chester Kallman), and Kristen Sieh (Carson McCullers). The creative team is comprised of Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Mark Barton (lights), Leon Rothenberg (sound), Andy Boroson (musical director) and Cole Bonenberger (production stage manager.)
Bringing together some of the greatest and most colorful minds of a generation, including W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, George Davis tries to create his own utopia in a small house in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s. The artists discover new ideas exploding at every turn as they find love, friendship and their own artistic voices in a time of war. “It is a kind of romp,” Edelstein said. “This musical is about breaking out. It is a celebration of eccentricity, artistry, and a kind of failed utopian dream. They are dreaming about making a better world. If they can make the better world in their home, maybe they can make one in the outside world.”
Written by up-and-coming composer Gabriel Kahane, the score mixes elements of classical operetta, jazz, and musical comedy with modern folk-pop. In addition to his work on February House, Kahane has recently released his second album, entitled “Where Are The Arms,” debuted his song cycle “Orinoco Sketches” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and embarked on a solo tour. He also performed with Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Punch Brothers, and Audra McDonald. “I am very excited about this new musical,” Edelstein said. “It is a fresh new work with fresh new talent making it.”
The musical is based on Sherill Tippins’ literary biography “February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America.” At Seven Middagh Street, a shabby Brooklyn brownstone, this disparate group of artists fell in love, partied, fought and created in a utopian environment that would later dissipate. The name of the home was bestowed because so many of the famous artists who lived there were born in February.
For more information, call 203-787-4282 or visit www.longwharf.org.
Photos by T. Charles Erickson.