Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Encore Performance of THE JOE HILL REVIVAL to be Presented at Triad Theater

pixeltracker

The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, with a cast featuring Laurént Grant Williams as Joe Hill and more.

Encore Performance of THE JOE HILL REVIVAL to be Presented at Triad Theater

"The Joe Hill Revival," is a new musical that brings back to life the story of labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill, framed up and executed by the state of Utah in 1915. This will be an encore one-night-only performance at the Triad Theater in Manhattan on Sunday, February 6, 2-4pm.

The book and original music and lyrics are by Dan Furman, with additional lyrics by Joe Hill and others. The musical is directed and choreographed by Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, with a cast featuring Laurént Grant Williams as Joe Hill and Caitlin Caruso Dobbs as Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. They are joined by Nicola Barrett, Laura Bright, Curtis Faulkner, Julia Fein, Drew Hill, Christopher Isolano and Ace McCarthy and supported by a 4-piece band. For those who are uncomfortable about attending a show in person due to the pandemic, a streaming option will shortly be available on the above links.

Early 20th century songwriter and activist Joe Hill often rewrote the words of church hymns and popular tunes of his time, converting them into songs of protest and activism. Extending that approach, "The Joe Hill Revival" show revives Hill's life and lyrics using the musical language of our time. The audience is given a chance to sing along with Hill's songs and to connect what inspired movements like the International Workers of the World to challenges we still face today.

And the story? A love triangle, hidden for years, between IWW activist Joe Hill and Hilda Erickson which led to his shooting. A trial and execution by a state determined to drive the IWW out of Utah. The words of firebrand activist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn brought to life. A show about finding joy in living, fighting (and sometimes even dying) for what you believe in. We hold history in our hands.

But "The Joe Hill Revival" is not just a political or historical tale. It is also a love story.

Hill was originally arrested because he was shot the same night as a grocer in Salt Lake City was murdered by two men. Reports were that one of the assailants had been shot in their escape. Amid lurid stories in the press of radical IWW mobs threatening society, Hill was railroaded to his execution in November of 1915, even though a motive was never established and all the evidence was at best circumstantial. Although Hill claimed he was shot by a friend in a dispute over a woman, up to his dying day, he refused to identify who shot him and never took the stand in his defense.

Because of this, Hill's case itself has long been a bit of a puzzle. The unidentified woman of Hill's story is now known to be Hilda Erickson, a member of the family with whom Hill and his friend stayed when they arrived in Utah. As recently as 2011, new evidence in the form of an unsent letter was uncovered by author William Adler ("The Man Who Never Died") that backs up Hill's innocence. Although she never testified in court, Hilda Erickson visited Hill in prison every Sunday from his violent capture (he was shot by police while he lay in bed) to his final week in November of 1915.

Central to the historical part of the story is the bold activism of the IWW, the International Workers of the World, of which Joe Hill was a member. The IWW was formed in the early years of the 20th century and their radical approach to unionism was welcomed by many workers. They did not recognize all the divisions within industries and attempted to organize all workers into "One Big Union." They rejected the exclusion of Blacks, Chinese and other nationalities from labor unions and sought to organize women workers as equals. They refused to sign contracts with employers, preferring verbal agreements that preserved their right to strike, and allowed unemployed workers to join the union as well. This was especially important in the American West of the early 1900s, where Eastern corporations operated huge labor intensive mining and logging industries with no obligations to the health, safety or quality of life of their workforce.

The Joe Hill "Revival" brings these struggles back to life and makes connections with today's struggles--from the protests against the police murder of George Floyd to the battles by Amazon workers and others to assert their rights against the interests of the rich.

Proof of vaccination will be required for all who attend the event.

Dan Furman (writer lyricist, composer, Music Director) hails from Old Hickory, Tennessee (just outside Nashville). He began playing piano and composing music at an early age and went on to study composition and jazz piano at Oberlin Conservatory. After moving to New York in 2003 to play jazz, he began writing for music theater as well. He spent four years in the BMI Lehman Engels Musical Theater Workshop. Furman is director of Brooklyn Tavern Theater, which puts on original musicals in taverns in Brooklyn and beyond. He is composer/lyricist/bookwriter of "Impossible But True," and composer and lyricist for Ybor City (with Anita Gonzalez, bookwriter) and Sign In the Six O'Clock Sky (with bookwriter Arnold Schulman). He is currently developing "The Proust Virus," a stage musical about video game characters who come to life when Proust is uploaded into their game and "The Joe Hill Revival," the next Brooklyn Tavern Theater musical. He lives in Brooklyn with neuroscientist Kim Allen and works as a jazz pianist and vocal accompanist at clubs and acting schools in Manhattan. (danfurman.com, brooklyntaverntheater.com)

Jerome Harmann-Hardeman: Co-directed and Co-choreographed "The Gershwin Gala, The music of George and Ira Gershwin" World Tour, Conceived, directed, co-choreographed and wrote "With A Little Help' Aachen-Alsdorf, BRD, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" Essen BRD, Konzert Fur Kinderkrebs Klinikum, Essen, BRD, Anselmo Awards, Hudson Theatre Honoring Carol Channing, NYC, Anselmo Awards Starring Regis Philbin, NYC.
Performing credits: Broadway, National Touring companies, off Broadway, Regional: Romeo and Juliet, Dirty Dancing, Swing, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, The Fantasticks, The Full Monty, Ragtime, Gaudi, The Man of La Mancha, Once On This Island, Dreamgirls, A Soldiers Play, Floyd Collins, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar,, A Chorus Line, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Play On and Evita.
Corporate: State Farm, IBM, ATT, Johnson and Johnson. Master Card, Top Spot, Vienna, Austria, Bayer AG, Koln, BRD, Kodakowa Productions, Tokyo, Japan
Television and Film: Teenage Euthanasia, The Last O.G., One Life To Live, Annie, The Peacemaker, Malcolm X, The Green Jacket, Soho Murders.


Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You