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Musical about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings Comes to Castillo Theatre, 2/17-3/25

The Castillo Theatre is reviving the FrEd Newman-Annie Roboff musical, Sally and Tom (The American Way) for a six-week run from February 17 through March 25. The musical is being directed by Gabrielle L. Kurlander, whose production Playing With Heiner Müller received a 2011 Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Award For Excellence in Black Theatre for outstanding ensemble performance. Musical direction is by David Belmont, choreography by Lonné Moretton. The Castillo Theatre is located at 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. 

It’s 1789, and teenage Sally Hemings returns from Paris with the soon-to-be president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. She is in love with him—and she is his slave. With beautiful music by Grammy-nominated songwriter Annie Roboff, this dramatic musical follows Sally and Tom’s love affair over a quarter-century, as it becomes a scandal in the press, produces five children, and confronts Sally with the relative privileges of her life and the injustices of slavery. As avant-garde as it is entertaining, Sally and Tom (The American Way) reveals the inhuman compromise our Founding Fathers made at America's birth, the legacy of which remains with us today.

FrEd Newman, who passed away in July, wrote the book and lyrics of Sally and Tom, which was originally produced at the Castillo Theatre in 1995. Newman served as Castillo’s artistic director and playwright-in-residence for 16 years and wrote 44 politically engaged, experimental plays and musicals. He shaped the Castillo Theatre from its founding in 1984 into a unique kind of political theatre—progressive without being partisan, artistically and philosophically demanding while being inclusive of diverse audiences. Composer Annie Roboff ‘s songs cover the musical landscape and have been recorded by artists as diverse as Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, The Indigo Girls, Tim McGRaw, The Dixie Chicks, INXS, Kenny Loggins, and a duet featuring legends Don Henley and Kenny Rogers. She has five #1 hits to her name. Recordings of her songs have sold over sixty million copies. Together, their mix of pop and the avant-garde make for an unforgettable score. 

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. February 17 through March 25. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased through the Castillo Box Office at 212-941-1234 or go to

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