Astoria Performing Arts Center Presents Galt MacDermot's THE HUMAN COMEDY 5/5-5/21

By: Feb. 16, 2011
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The Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) announces the reunion of their award-winning Children of Eden team with their upcoming production of Galt MacDermot's (HAIR) musical, The Human Comedy. With libretto by William Dumaresq based on the story by William Saroyan, the production will be directed by APAC Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik and music directed by Jeffrey Campos, reuniting IT Award Nominee Christine O'Grady as choreographer, IT Award Recipient Michael P. Kramer as set designer, Hunter Kaczorowski as costume designer and casting by wojcik|seay casting.

"The Human Comedy has one of the best scores ever written for a musical," remarks Wojtunik. "When it opened on Broadway in 1984, its intimate story was no match for the trend of over-the-top spectacle musicals. APAC will bring this deserving and gorgeous piece back to New York City in a thrilling new production, as we did with our critically-acclaimed revivals of Ragtime and Children of Eden."

The coming-of-age tale focuses on young Homer Macauley, a telegram messenger who is exposed to the sorrows and joys experienced by his family and the residents of his small California town during World War II. Homer's mother Kate is struggling to support her children following the death of her husband, his older brother Marcus is in the Army, his teenaged sister Bess daydreams about romance, and his younger brother Ulysses divides his attention between the passing trains and an unrequited desire to know why his father had to die. An ode to "home," The Human Comedy is one of the most enjoyable and moving musicals to have fallen into relative obscurity.

William Dumaresq (Libretto) Born in Vancouver, Canada in 1930, Dumaresq original set out to be an English teacher. In 1962 he moved to England to attend the University of London, where he was sidetracked when he met Galt MacDermot, another Canadian ex-pat with whom he began writing and producing songs. Together they wrote the screenplay and music for Duffer (1971), a film based on Dumaresq's yet-to-be-published novel of the same title. Their final collaboration was an adaptation of The Human Comedy, based on a story by William Saroyan, for which Dumaresq contributed the libretto. The two also collaborated on a British musical, Isabel's a Jezebel, loosely based on a Grimm's fairy tale, it premiered on London's West End in 1970. After suffering a non-fatal stroke at the door of his workplace in 1992, Dumaresq was diagnosed with cancer. He died in England in 1998.

Galt MacDermot (Composer) A Grammy and Tony-award winning composer, MacDermot is best known for the music he wrote for the Broadway scores of HAIR and Two Gentlemen of Verona. His work spans the gamut of performing arts: musicals, ballet scores, film scores, chamber music, the Anglican liturgy, orchestral, poetry, drama accompaniments, band repertory and opera. Film scores include Rhinoceros, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Mistress and HAIR. He draws inspiration from a wealth of musical styles, crossing the boundaries of jazz, folk, funk, gospel, reggae, and classical styles. Galt was inducted into the 2009 Songwriter's Hall of Fame.


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