SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE begins October 11th at The Public With Menzel And Kudisch

The Public Theaters Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Mara Manus announce the New York premiere of SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, a musical with words and music by Michael John LaChiusa. SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE is suggested by the short stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, as translated by Takashi Kojima. Directed by Ted Sperling, with musical staging by Jonathan Butterell, See What I Wanna See begins previews Tuesday, October 11th. The press opening is Sunday, October 30th.

A park.  A thief.  A priest.  A psychic.  A miracle.  A lie.  The truth.  From a mysterious murder in Central Park to the miracle of a devastated citys rebirth, New York stories of faith, loss and redemption are explored in this new musical by Michael John LaChiusa (The Publics The Wild Party), complete with a contemporary, lush score.

The cast of SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE features Marc Kudisch, Aaron Lohr, Idina Menzel, Henry Stram and Mary Testa.

SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE has scenic design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Elizabeth Caitlin Ward, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

Michael John LaChiusa (Words and Music) is the composer and lyricist of a new musical, The House of Bernarda Alba, with libretto by Richard Nelson, which will premiere at Lincoln Center Theater February 2006.  His new musical, Send (who are you? I love you), written for Audra McDonald will premiere at Houston Grand Opera, March 2006.The Highest Yellow, commissioned by the Signature Theatre, premiered in 2004, and received two Helen Hayes Awards. Mr. LaChiusa was represented on Broadway during the 1999-2000 season by The Wild Party and Marie Christine, receiving Tony nominations for Best Score and Best Book (with George C. Wolfe on The Wild Party) for each show. Other works include Little Fish, Hello Again, First Lady Suite, Break/Agnes/Eulogy for Mister Hamm, and Chronicle for a Death Foretold for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Book (with Graciela Daniele and Jim Lewis) in 1996.  He was the 1998-1999 Composer-in-Residence at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where his piece Lovers & Friends: (Chautauqua Variations) had its world premiere in June 2001. Mr. LaChiusa is an Obie-award winner (Hello Again and First Lady Suite) as well as the recipient of the Gilman-Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theatre Award.

Ted Sperling (Director) won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/pianist: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; The Full Monty; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Angels in America; My Favorite Year; Falsettos; Drood; Les Misérables; Roza; and Sunday in the Park With George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic. Off-Broadway credits as music director include A Man of No Importance; Wise Guys, A New Brain; Saturn Returns; Floyd Collins; Falsettoland; and Romance in Hard Times. Mr. Sperlings work as a stage director includes the world premieres of three musicals: See What I Wanna See, Charlotte: Life? Or Theater? and Striking 12, as well as a revival of Lady in the Dark starring Andrea Marcovicci. Mr. Sperling has been soprano Audra McDonalds music director since 1999.

Marc Kudisch (Morito, Husband, CPA). The Public: The Wild Party. Other Broadway: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Tony nom., Outer Critics Circle nom.); Assassins (Drama Desk nom.); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Circle Critics nom.); A Little Night Music (New York City Opera); Bells Are Ringing; The Scarlet Pimpernel (3.0); High Society; Beauty and the Beast; JosephDreamcoat. Off-Broadway: The Thing About Men; No Strings; Encores! Fall Bash 2003; Tamara: The Living Movie; Quiet on the Set. Recent regional: The Highest Yellow (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes nom.). TV: All My Children, Bye Bye Birdie (ABC-TV/ Hallmark), Sex and the City, and Loving.

Aaron Lohr (Thief, Reporter) appeared at The Public in Radiant Baby; he also appeared in Bare (Off-Broadway), Full Monty (National Tour), and Corpus Christi (Los   Angeles). Film credits: soon to be seen as Steve in the RENT- The Movie; Newsies; D2 and D3: The Mighty Ducks. TV; VH1s Daydream Believers, Law and Order: Trial by Jury, Sister, Sister, Family Matters among others.

Idina Menzel (Kesa, Wife, Actress) recently wrapped production on director Chris Columbus's film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical RENT, in which she reprises her role as Maureen. Menzel received a Tony nomination for this performance. This winter she completed her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked. Additional credits include: The Wild Party (MTC, Drama Desk nomination), Summer of 42, Hair, Aida and The Vagina Monologues. Film: Summer of Sam, Still a Kiss, Kissing Jessica Stein, Tollbooth, and Water.

Henry Stram (Janitor, Priest). The Public: The Winters Tale, Timon of Athens, Henry V, Troilus and Cressida, Alls Well That Ends Well, Dancing on Her Knees, On the Open Road, A Bright Room Called Day. Broadway: The Crucible, Titanic. Off-Broadway: The Persians (National Actors Theatre); Unwrap Your Candy, Christina Albertas Father (Yineyard); My Head Was A Sledgehammer, The Mind King, Eddie Goes to Poetry City (Ontological). Film: The Grey Zone, Cradle Will Rock, Illuminata. TV: Law and Order, Enterprise, Kingpin. Awards: 1996 Obie for Sustained Excellence.

Mary Testa (Medium, Aunt). The Public: On the Town (Broadway, Tony nomination; Delacorte, Obie). Broadway: 42nd Street (Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations); Marie Christine; A Funny Thing...Forum; The Rink; Marilyn: An American Fable; Barnum. Off-Broadway: First Ladies Suite (Drama Desk nomination), String of Pearls (Drama Desk nomination), The Vagina Monologues; The Wax; From Above (Obie); Lucky Stiff; In Trousers; Tartuffe; The Knife; A New Brain; Scapin; Daughters. Film: Stay; Tony n Tinas Wedding; many others. TV: Whoopi; Sex and the City; many others.

The performance schedule for SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE varies. Please visit for details.

Tickets for SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE, which are $60, are on sale at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at; and via Tele-charge, 212-239-6200. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00pm to 7:30pm, and Sunday and Monday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm.

The Public's 50th Anniversary Celebration will feature events uptown and downtown, including two productions of Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte, six cutting edge productions in the downtown season, interactive exhibitions and provocative discussions in celebration of the theaters rich history.

Founded by Joseph Papp as the Shakespeare Workshop and now one of the nations preeminent cultural institutions, The Public is an American theater in which all the countrys voices, rhythms, and cultures converge. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Mara Manus, The Public's mandate to create a theater for all New Yorkers continues to this day on stage and through its extensive outreach and education programs. Over 250,000 people annually attend Public Theater-related events at its six downtown stages including Joe's Pub, and at Shakespeare in the Park and Joes Pub in the Park.

Time Warner is the Lead Sponsor of The Public Theaters 50th Anniversary season.

Additional leadership support for the 50th Anniversary season is provided by the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Target, JPMorgan Chase, Altria Group, Inc., Bloomberg, ConEdison, News Corporation/New York Post, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Starr Foundation, Time Warner Cable, Viacom Outdoor, The New York Times, and New York Public Radio-WNYC.

Additional generous support is provided by Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman, The Shubert Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The George Delacorte Fund at The New York Community Trust - Fund for Performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Susan Stein Shiva Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Warren Spector and Margaret Whitton. Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. We are also deeply grateful to The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for its leadership commitment to The Public Theater's Endowment Fund in support of new work. Continental Airlines is the official airline of The Public Theater. 

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