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Fortune's Fool To Produce THE LADY WITH A LAP DOG


Fortune's Fool To Produce THE LADY WITH A LAP DOG

Fortune's Fool Theatre will produce the world premiere of a new musical, The Lady with a Lap Dog, book and lyrics by Daniel Pinkerton and music by Robert Elhai, adapted from the story by Anton Chekhov. It will be performed at the Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis for 8 performances only from September 15-24. The production will star the outstanding singing actors Andrea Leap as Anna, Joel Liestman as Dmitri, and Laurel Armstrong as the four other characters. It will be directed by Nicole Wilder and music directed by Jill Dawe.

"What does it mean to be virtuous?" In Yalta, the most popular summer resort of Imperial Russia, Dmitri and Anna meet and have an extramarital affair. This changes the way they look at the world, their relationships, and ultimately, themselves. Months later, they still cannot forget each other, yet divorce is not legally possible. What can they do? The Lady with a Lap Dog is an intimate 80-minute musical about balancing desire and responsibility, the transformative power of unselfish love, and what happens when you fall in love for the first time long after you were spoken for by another.

Robert Elhai, the composer, is one of the Twin Cities' busiest and most lauded composers and orchestrators. Recently, he wrote the music for C. (Theatre Latté Da) and Twisted Apples (Nautilus Music-Theatre). He orchestrated Sweet Land: The Musical and the Ivey-winning Glensheen (both at History Theatre). He has also orchestrated Metallica's Grammy-winning album S&M, the Tony-nominated score of The Lion King, and over 150 movies, including Fences and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Daniel Pinkerton, writer of the book and lyrics, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Jerome Fellowship, and two Minnesota State Arts Board grants. He wrote the lyrics for Beaverdance! (Bedlam), the book and lyrics for YARRRH! The Lusty, Busty Pirate Musical (Fortune's Fool), and the book and lyrics for Hard Times (MSAB funded workshop at Nautilus Music-Theatre). Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is best known for his plays, but is also the renowned author of ten volumes of short stories. Vladimir Nabokov called The Lady with a Lap Dog "one of the greatest short stories ever written."

The Lady with a Lap Dog was originally commissioned by Nautilus Music-Theatre for singer-actors Andrea Leap and Joel Liestman, who will reprise their roles. Leap has been

teaching voice at McPhail Center for Music since 2005 and has performed at the Jungle

Theater, Nautilus Music-Theatre, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Schubert Club, and others. Liestman has appeared in featured roles at the Guthrie, Ordway Center, Nautilus Music-Theatre, Illusion Theater, Children's Theatre Company, and others. He is a member of Actor's Equity. The third actor, Laurel Armstrong, has performed with Joe Chvala's Flying Foot Forum and, recently, in Calendar Girls at Park Square; she is also developing her own music, theatre, and dance piece, East of the Sun.

Performance dates are September 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, and 24. Performances are at 8:00 pm, with Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm. Admission is $18 general and $16 for students, seniors, and MN Fringe button holders. Monday, September 18 is a "pay what you can" performance. For reservations, contact Open Eye Figure Theatre, 612-874-6338 / Information is also available at and on the Fortune's Fool Theatre Facebook page.

This production of The Lady with a Lap Dog is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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