Long Wharf Theatre to Welcome Benjamin Scheuer's THE LION This Winter
Long Wharf Theatre presents, in conjunction with Eva Price, THE LION, written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer, directed by Sean Daniels, from January 6 through February 7, 2016. The play will take place on Stage II. Tickets are $25-$85. The press opening will take place on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm. The creative team includes Neil Patel (sets), Ben Stanton (lighting), Leon Rothenberg (sound), Jennifer Caprio (Costumes).
Benjamin Scheuer uses his guitar - actually, six guitars - in THE LION, a wholly original musical experience of one man's gripping coming-of-age story. The award-winning songwriter inspires and disarms with his raw wit and emotional depth as he leads you on his heartfelt journey to manhood, through pain and healing, to discover redemption through the power of music. His surprising story is about courage. His songs are how he finds it. Much like its hero, THE LION mixes power and beauty in a one of a kind experience. Scheuer's performance in THE LION earned him a 2015 Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance.
Scheuer was smitten with music at a young age, learning from his father how to play the guitar. By the time he'd entered his teen years that relationship became fraught. This, coupled with a debilitating illness, prompted the artistic exploration that yielded the beauty of THE LION.
"The best compliment I have gotten is when people say your story is just like my story. Then they tell me a story that has nothing to do with my story. The reason that's the best compliment is because at that point THE LION has stopped being about me - Benjamin Scheuer - and has, to my audience, connected in a way that they themselves, see themselves in the story. And that kind of connection is what I hope I can continue to do. And that feels lovely to have done that," Scheuer said in an interview with axs.com.
THE LION began life as a musical called The Bridge in 2013, where it was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show began as a series of autobiographical songs and gradually, with the help of collaborators, changed over time to a project of a different sort, transforming the pain and difficulty of his life into transcendent art. THE LION began its run at Manhattan Theatre Club in the summer of 2014 and became a runaway hit Off Broadway, during the winter of 2015, charming audiences and critics alike. THE LION is currently touring across the country throughout 2016.
In July 2016, Scheuer will be at the Williamstown Theatre Festival working on a new musical between tour dates for THE LION.
CREATIVE TEAM BIOS
Benjamin Scheuer is the recipient of the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award for songwriting and the 2013 Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics. He has performed his work in New York at Lincoln Center, City Center, Symphony Space, Birdland, Merkin Hall, 54 Below and Joe's Pub; in London at the Royal Albert Hall and the St. James Theatre; and in Edinburgh at Usher Hall and the Fringe Festival. The animated video for Scheuer's song "THE LION" (dir. Peter Baynton) has been featured in the 2014 British Animation Awards (Public Choice for Best Music Video), 2013 Annecy Film Festival in France (Special Jury Award for Best Commissioned Film) and the 2013 Crystal Palace International Film Festival (Best Music Video, Best Animated Video.) With his band Escapist Papers, Scheuer has released two albums: Escapist Papers and The Bridge (produced by Geoff Kraly.) Scheuer has been a writer-in-residence at the Goodspeed Opera House and the Weston Playhouse, and is an alumnus of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project. With photographer Riya Lerner, Scheuer is the co- creator of the book Between Two Spaces. He lives in New York City. @BenjaminScheuer BenjaminScheuer.com
Sean Daniels has directed at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Kennedy Center, St. James (West End, London), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, Playmakers Rep, Cleveland Play House, Alliance Theatre, Cal Shakes, Portland Center Stage, Southern Rep, Swine Palace, Neo-Futurists, Aurora Theatre, Crowded Fire, and at the Edinburgh Fringe. He is the Artistic Director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and an Artist-At-Large for Geva Theatre Center. Previously he spent several years at the Tony Award winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theater's Associate Artistic Director, and at the California Shakespeare Theatre as the theatre's Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director. Before all that he spent a decade as the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dad's Garage Theater Company in Atlanta, Ga. @seandaniels
Eva Price was named one of Crain's NY 40 Under Forty Rising Business Stars for 2012 as well one of Blouin Art Info's Top 25 Under 35 Emerging Broadway Players. Current and Recent Productions: The Temptations & The Four Tops on Broadway, Found: a new musical, The Darrell Hammond Project, Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin. Past Broadway credits include: John Grisham's A Time To Kill, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Lewis Black: Running on Empty, Annie, Peter and the Starcatcher (5 Tony Awards), Kathy Griffin Wants A Tony, Colin Quinn Long Story Short directed by Jerry Seinfeld (Drama Desk Nomination), The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critic's Circle Nominations), A Life In The Theatre starring Patrick Stewart and TR Knight, The Addams Family (Broadway, Tour, and Australia), Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Eva is the Executive Producer and EVP for Maximum Entertainment.
Neil Patel's designs are well known on and off Broadway and at regional theaters and opera houses in the US and abroad. Recent New York credits include Mr Burns, Stage Kiss, Indian Ink, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 and 3). Other work includes production design for the HBO series "In Treatment" and the feature films Some Velvet Morning (TriBeCa Films) and Loitering with Intent (Parts and Labor).
Broadway: Fun Home (April 2015, Circle in the Square), An Enemy of the People (Friedman Theater), Seminar (Golden Theater). Recent Off Broadway: Fun Home (Lortel Nom., The Public), I'm Gonna Pray for you So Hard (Atlantic Theater), Our Lady of Kibeho, Kung Fu, Angeles In America (Signature Theater), Murder Ballad (Lortel Nom., MTC/Union Square Theater), Belleville (Lortel Nom., NYTW), Into The Woods (Delacorte), The Whipping Man (Lortel Award, Drama Desk Nom., MTC). Selected Regional: Amhanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, South Coast Rep (CA), Goodman Theater (IL), Shakespeare Theatre (DC), Hartford Stage, Long Wharf (CT), Dallas Theater Center (TX), Huntington Theater, WTF (MA), Philadelphia Theatre Co., Paper Mill Playhouse, McCarter (NJ), Intiman (WA), Actors Theater of Louisville (KY) . Concert & Tour Designs for Regina Spektor, Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, St. Vincent. Touring LD for The National (Summer/Fall 2014).
Broadway: Violet, The Realistic Joneses, The Nance (Tony Award), The Heiress, Joe Turner's Come and Gone (Tony Nomination), Impressionism. Select NY/Off-Broadway: Primary Stages, Second Stage, Tectonic Theater Project, Women's Project, Manhattan Theatre Club, Public Theater, LCT3, and New York City Center. Select Regional: Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, New York Stage & Film, Two River Theater, North Shore Music Theater, Long Wharf, McCarter, Intiman, Theatre By The Sea. International: Cirque du Soleil's Kooza and Wintuk, National Theater of Cyprus, Dijon Festival. klaxson.net
Broadway: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. West End: THE LION (St. James). Current national tour: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Selected NYC: Tail! Spin! (Culture Project), THE LION (MTC, tour), Little Miss Sunshine (Second Stage), In Transit (Primary Stages, Lortel nomination), Fugitive Songs (Dreamlight) and Striking 12 (Daryl Roth). Opera: Florida Grand, Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Mill City Summer Opera. Costume designs at over 60 US regional theatres.
Broadway credits include The Gathering starring Hal Linden, Borscht Belt on Broadway starring, Bruce Adler, Mal Z. Lawrence, and Ain't That A Kick In The Head - The Music of Sammy Cahn directed by Chet Walker. 1st National Tours include: The Cole Porter Songbook starring Melba Moore, The Irving Berlin Songbook starring Carole Lawrence, Greetings! Shalom Aleichem Lives starring Judy Kaye, Bruce Adler and Theo Bikel. Dom has worked on various productions in many capacities from stage management to general management and producing. His projects have taken him across the US, Europe, South America and Australia with Aint' Misbehavin, Phantom, Anything Goes, and Song & Dance among many others.
MIND THE GAP PRODUCTIONS
Mind the Gap is a Brooklyn based production company specializing in custom fabrication, production management, and production logistics. Notable projects include: On the Town (Broadway), Hand to God (MCC), And I and Silence, A Particle of Dread (Signature Theatre), Sex With Strangers, The Substance of Fire (2nd Stage), Romeo and Juliet, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Classic Stage Co.), The Tribute Artist, Poor Behavior, While I Yet Live (Primary Stages).
MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT General Management is a producing, developing and management company. Maximum Entertainment was founded in 2006 by Avram Freedberg, MaryBeth Dale and Eva Price. Associate General Manager Jim Brady joined Maximum in 2014. General Management credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway and on tour include 50 Shades! The Musical, Ivy + Bean The Musical, Blank! The Musical, Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, Forever Dusty, Voca People, The Judy Show, Circumcise Me, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, The Magic School Bus Live!, Ella, 'S Wonderful, Strega Nona and I Love a Piano.
Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, was founded in 1965, Named for the Long Wharf port along New Haven Harbor, the theatre was built in a vacant warehouse space in a busy food terminal, with its Mainstage originally stocked with seats borrowed from a retired movie house. Entering its 51st season, Long Wharf Theatre is committed to creating theatre of the highest quality that inspires discourse and reflection about each of us and the world in which we live. Long Wharf Theatre has created a unique home in New Haven for theatre artists from around the world, resulting in the transfer of more than 30 Long Wharf productions to Broadway or Off-Broadway, some of which include The Glass Menagerie, My Name is Asher Lev, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Wit (Pulitzer Prize), The Shadow Box (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award/Best
Play), Hughie, American Buffalo, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Quartermaine's Terms (Obie Award/Best Play), The Gin Game (Pulitzer Prize), The Changing Room, The Contractor and Streamers. Long Wharf Theatre has received New York Drama Critics Awards, Obie Awards, the Margo Jefferson Award for Production of New Works, a Special Citation from the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1978.