Theater J Returns To Home Theater With Musical LOVE SICK
After a year of producing at venues around DC, Theater J returns to a beautifully renovated Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center with the passionate new musical Love Sick, the first show of its 19/20 season. Love Sick is written and adapted by Israeli actress/writer Ofra Daniel, with music by Daniel and Lior Ben-Hur. It is directed by Olivier and Tony Award nominee Christopher Renshaw, music directed by celebrated Palestinian musician Ali Paris, who also performs, and choreographed by Matt Cole. The press is invited to Opening Night of Love Sick on Monday, September 9 at 7:30 PM.
Inspired by the ancient poetry known as the Song of Songs, Love Sick fuses a thrilling original score, Middle-Eastern harmonics, dazzling choreography, and a timeless story of passion and awakening. Drawing on influences that span continents and millennia-from ancient feminist eroticism to the sounds of European flamenco to Middle-Eastern harmonics and American musical theater-Love Sick tells the story of a young wife (Daniel) in a passionless marriage who discovers she has an unseen admirer (Ali). Intrigued, she begins a mysterious and dizzying journey of sexual and personal empowerment.
"What better way to inaugurate this renovated EDCJCC building than with a brand-new musical that represents so much of what Theater J is all about?" says Theater J Artistic Director Adam Immerwahr. "Love Sick connects deeply with Jewish tradition, text, and culture, and harkens back to the important history of Israeli work that has graced Theater J's stage. And its international team, comprising acclaimed Israeli, Palestinian, British, Australian, and US artists, gives us hope for a better world."
Daniel, Paris, and Renshaw bring myriad talents and experiences to their partnership, which first began with the world premiere in Berkeley, CA, where Love Sick won multiple Theatre Bay Area awards and the Will Glickman Award for best new play to debut in the Bay Area, as well as critical and popular acclaim. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Love Sick as "extraordinary...lush...full of surprises," and The Huffington Post called it "magnificent...an exciting new project."
Paris, a musical prodigy, plays the Qanun, a rare Middle-Eastern 76-string zither that dates back to the 14th century. He has collaborated and toured with such artists as Alicia Keys and Quincy Jones, and has performed in music festivals across the globe.
Renshaw has directed operas, plays, and musicals all over the world. His Broadway production of The King and I won four Tony Awards, while Renshaw himself won the Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony for Best Director. His production of Queen's We Will Rock you played in London for 12 years, and Taboo, which he co-conceived with Boy George, has played in London twice as well as on Broadway.
Daniel decided to write Love Sick because "I really, really loved the [Song of Song] poetry." She is eager for audiences to see her vision in its newest iteration and describes Theater J as "a natural path" for the piece. "Love Sick is a timeless and original love story that needs to be shared with the world. Performing Love Sick in a Jewish theater in DC feels like coming home."
Theater J is dedicated to taking its dialogues beyond the stage, offering public discussion forums which explore the theatrical, cultural and social elements of our productions. Post show discussions for Love Sick are as follows:
Cast Talkback following the September 11 performance.
Creative Conversation following the September 15 matinee.
Sunday Symposium following the September 22 matinee.
Theater J's 2019-2020 season continues with Edward Albee's Occupant, Sheltered, The Wanderers, Becoming Dr. Ruth, and Compulsion, or the House Behind.
SCENIC DESIGNER: Misha Kachman
COSTUME DESIGNER: Kelsey Hunt
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Andrew R. Cissna
SOUND DESIGNER: Brendan Aanes
PROPS DESIGNER: Pam Weiner
ASSOCIATE MUSIC DIRECTOR: Bill Yanesh
PRESS NIGHT: Monday, September 9 at 7:30 PM
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: September 4 - 29, 2019
Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 PM
Sundays and select Saturdays at 2:00 PM
Thursdays, select Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 PM
Wednesday matinees September 18 & 25 at 12:00 PM
Open Captioned performance Sunday, September 22 at 7:30 PM