Diversionary Begins Final Production of the Season with MOSCOW, 5/6

Diversionary Begins Final Production of the Season with MOSCOW, 5/6

Diversionary Theatre will stage the musical play Moscow as the sixth and final show of their 2009-2010 season. Moscow is a musical play involving three men attempting to define who they are and why they are confined together in an abandoned theatre. While enduring their "soul searching," they make use of their time by playing sockball and by acting out various roles from Anton Chekhov's play The Three Sisters. While self exploration, relationship conflict and gay romance are part of the chemistry, Moscow amplifies universal and eternal questions: "Who are we, Where are we, and Why are we here?"

Moscow was created by Nick Salamone (book and lyrics) and Maury R. McIntyre (music), and was first produced in Los Angeles in 1998 and went on to win the top honor at that year's Edinburgh Festival. Diversionary's production will be directed by Ira Spector, with musical direction by Patrick Marion. The musical play features Angelo D'Agostino, Kevin Koppman-Gue and John Whitley. Live music will come from piano, flute and violin. The show will run for four weeks from May 6-30. Moscow is underwritten in part by an estate gift from Bill Hughes.

The Los Angeles Times had this to say about the play: "It's not often that one thinks of existentialism and musicals in the same context. Yet Moscow is exactly that--an existential musical. Three gay men, trapped in some indeterminate limbo, mount a cross-dressing, musical production of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" in a desperate attempt to make sense of their existential dilemma. It plays a lot like "No Exit" with solos. But don't expect the sour erudition of Sartre in this case. Existentialism with a heart, the show melds typically antithetical extremes--such as intellectualism and sweetness, for instance--into one richly diverting oddity. Jon (John Whitley), a scholarly playwright who has lost many loved ones to AIDS, has retreated into cerebral celibacy. Luke (Kevin Koppman-Gue), a sexually needy male hustler, lives solely for the next fleshly encounter. And Matt (Angelo D'Agostino), a shy virgin, struggles to balance the conflicting urges of love and lust. Trapped, uncertain if they are alive or dead, the men soon become emotionally embroiled. Naturally, romance is rocky in this limbo: Luke loves Matt, who is resolutely inaccessible to Luke's advances; Matt loves Jon, who is resolutely inaccessible to Matt's advances, and so on, circularly. Unlike the tormented trio in "No Exit," who spiral into despair, the characters in "Moscow" rally, recoup and bond. It's a timely tribute to the redemptive powers of art, a reminder that even the most apparently hopeless lives can be transformed through the unifying fellowship of the theater."

Nick Salamone (Book and Lyrics) is the author of nine produced plays: Moscow (Fringe First & Audience Favorite Awards at Edinburgh Fringe, Garland Award), Gulls (LA Weekly, Garland & TicketHolder Awards, Ovation nomination), Sea Change (Maddy Award, LA Weekly & Garland nominations), The All Souls' Trilogy: All Souls' Day, Riff & Credos, Whalewatchers (Maddy Award), Red Hat & Tales (British Theatre Guide Best of Fringe), Hillary Agonistes (published by Broadway Plays), and Another House on Mercy Street (on which the award winning film, Mercy Street was based). Salamone is a graduate of the Nautilus Music/Theatre Workshop and the 2007 recipient of the Playwrights' Arena Award for Outstanding Contribution to the LA Theatre Community. He is also a professional actor.

Maury McIntyre (Music) received a 2009 L.A. Weekly Award and a BackStage West Garland Award for his score for Gulls, his third collaboration with Salamone. The show was also nominated for a 2008 Ovation Award for Book/Lyrics/Music for an Original Musical. For Moscow, his score received both a 1998 BackStage West Garland Award (Los Angeles) and a Fringe First Award (Edinburgh). In 2001, Moscow was also awarded the Audience Favorite Award (musical category) at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. Prior to Moscow, McIntyre composed a complete score/soundscape for the 1995 premiere of Salamone's Riffs & Credos. He has also composed interstitial music for such diverse plays as Joined at the Head, All in the Timing, The Triumph of Love, The Mandrake, and A Christmas Carol. He received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Ira Spector directs. His San Diego directing credits include Into The Woods and Songs for a New World at San Diego State University; Zanna, Don't; and served as directing intern for world premiere of the Broadway-bound The First Wives Club at The Old Globe. He directed Bethiah Sings at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, where he also assistant directed Bare and Look Inside and Listen. He earned a double BFA degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Musical Theatre and Theatre Performance. He will earn his Masters of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre (Directing Emphasis) from SDSU, graduating in May of this year.

Diversionary's creative team for Moscow includes Megan Schmidt (Assistant Director, plus Scenic, Costume and Prop Design), Karin Filijan (Lighting Design), Josh Hyatt (Stage Manager), and Sarah Palmer (Assistant Stage Manager).

Diversionary Theatre was started in 1986. The mission of the theatre is to produce plays with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily.

Moscow previews May 6 and 7, opens on Saturday, May 8 and runs through Sunday, May 30. Food for the opening night party will be provided by Ramesses Mediterranean Cuisine. Performance times are: Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm, Sunday at 2:00 & 7:00pm, with a pay-what-you-can performance on Monday, May 17 at 7:30pm. Single tickets are $31-$35 with discounts available for students, seniors (60+), military and groups (10 or more). For information, call the box office at 619.220.0097 or log on to www.diversionary.org.

For more information, visit www.diversionary.org.

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