Past Productions

Kiss of the Spider Woman

August 31, 2018 ‚ÄĒ October 7, 2018 Book by Terrence McNally, Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb Based on the novel by Manuel Puig Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Bertone Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland Costume Design by Marian Bertone Lighting Design by Frank Meissner Jr. Sound Design by Andrew Duncan Will Projection by Johnathan Carr Production Stage Manager: L. Arkansas Light Assistant Stage Manager: Nerys Powell This production is 2 hours and 30 minutes including one 15 minute intermission. Tickets & More Information

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Gypsy

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Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Arthur Laurents.
Directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez

Season Sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey and Bank of America
Production Sponsored by Barry Bluestone
Music Director Dan Rodriguez sponsored by Jo-An Heileman
Leigh Barrett sponsored by Paul & Liz Kastner

Running time:  2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission.

Please note that this production includes a mild use of strobe light effect.

Box Office: 617-585-5678 | boxoffice@lyricstage.com
Click Here for Directions, Parking Info, and Local Restaurant Info

Click Here to Read the Program Note

Summary

Featuring one show-stopping song after another ‚ÄĒ¬†‚ÄúEverything‚Äôs Coming Up Roses,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúYou Gotta Have a Gimmick,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúLet Me Entertain You,‚ÄĚ and more! ‚ÄĒ¬†Gypsy¬†is based on the real-life memoirs of burlesque mega-star, Gypsy Rose Lee, and her stage-mother behind the curtain, Mama Rose. ¬†In the tradition of¬†My Fair Lady, Avenue Q, Into the Woods,¬†and¬†Sweeney Todd, Gypsy¬†will once again prove that the intimate Lyric Stage is the perfect place to experience the very best of the American musical theatre.

‚ÄúThe greatest of all American musicals!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ NY Times.

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Press & Reviews

“[Barrett’s] Rose (monstrous though the character is), coupled with the initially timorous twosome of the untalented Louise and the human doormat that is Herbie, all somehow manage to make us root for them against all odds, and despite their flaws. Was there ever such a trio of difficult and demanding roles? And all three nail them.”

Lyric Stage’s “Gypsy”: How Gypsy Rose¬†¬† ‚ÄĒSouth Shore Critic

 

“Maybe the best part of the production was the Burlesque House number, ‚ÄúYou Gotta Have a Gimmick,‚ÄĚ featuring strippers Tessie Tura, Mazeppa, and Electra in their horrible and wonderful garb. Actress Kathy St. George, playing Mazeppa, hit every beat on the nose and had the audience roaring.”

‚ÄúGypsy‚ÄĚ in fine form at Lyric Stage¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Raider Times

 

“Brady Miller‚Äôs dance prowess is particularly graceful and energetic, and Anderson-Song, a natural for the stage, is perfect as Baby June. Barrett‚Äôs rich voice fills the theater as forcefully as Mama Rose‚Äôs outsized personality. Salpini‚Äôs performance almost sneaks up on the audience; she skillfully enlivens the script‚Äôs gradual reveal of Louise as more than a long-suffering second banana. She‚Äôs resourceful, strong, and ultimately self-possessed.”

Leigh Barrett Excels As Mama Rose, The Stage Mom From Hell, In Lyric Stage’s ‘Gypsy’¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWBUR The ARTery

 

“As a splendid artifact of the so-called Golden Age of the Broadway musical, ‚ÄúGypsy‚Äô‚Äô allows us to savor the craftsmanship that went into the best shows of that era while also evoking, through its story, the fading twilight of the vaudeville era.”

Leigh Barrett offers a thorny and memorable Rose in Lyric Stage‚Äôs ‚ÄėGypsy‚Äô¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Boston Globe

 

“Rachel directs, choreographs and blocks this talented cast excellently.”

“Steven Barkhimer does a marvelous job as Herbie, the sympathetic booking agent who falls madly in love with Rose. He gives the role great depth with his acting prowess.”

“Kira Troilo is splendid as Dainty June. Her marvelous voice and dancing skills are observed as she dances up a storm with the boys.”

‚ÄúGYPSY‚ÄĚ at Lyric Stage¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Theater Mirror

 

“Janie E. Howland’s designs, notably her decaying proscenium that frames the stage and her use of curtains, are a model for small productions such as this one – handsome to the eye and nicely scaled to the production’s demands. It is augmented by Franklin Meissner, Jr.’s often shadowy lighting and Rafael Jaen’s droll period costumes. The able musical direction by Dan Rodriguez captures the score’s brassy edge with a small backstage band that sounds twice its size.”

Gypsy¬†¬† ‚ÄĒEDGE Media Network

 

“Spiro has found a great Gypsy, with Barrett, Salpini, Troilo, Barkhimer, and company lighting up the Lyric Stage. If you miss this production you are making a huge mistake.”

“Accept this gift from this wonderful man. He knows how to Light the Lights!”

“Barrett fully embraces the part with a powerful performance. she‚Äôs got what it takes.”

“Ms Bertone gets it all just right in this scaled down but amazing production of what has been called the greatest of all Broadway musicals.”

“Seeing this in the intimacy of the Lyric Stage Theatre brings us close not only physically but emotionally to the story.”

The Lyric Stage Finds Its Gypsy¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBoxing Over Broadway

 

There are some words and phrases that suffer from overuse in theater reviews, diminishing their impact, and sometimes achieving the boy-who-cried-wolf status. Think of the musicals casually referred to as iconic, the performances hyped as tour de force, and the productions loudly labeled as MUST SEE. As much as a critic may enjoy many shows, these terms ought to be carefully rationed, or else run the risk of failing to generate the excitement deserved by that one truly outstanding production. Friends, let me proclaim, without hyperbole, that the Lyric Stage Company has hit the trifecta with their season opening iconic musical Gypsy, a virtual must see production, thanks to Rachel Bertone’s direction and choreography, and Leigh Barrett’s tour de force performance as Mama Rose.

GYPSY Takes Off at Lyric Stage¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBroadway World

 

“Now premier Hub actress Leigh Barrett is giving a powerhouse Lyric Stage Company of Boston performance in the part worthy of comparison with those of the likes of Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Patti Lupone. At the same time, gifted director-choreographer Rachel Bertone (‘The Wild Party,” “Barnum,” among others) is giving one of America’s greatest musicals the kind of inspired revival it deserves.”

“Brady Miller demonstrates Tulsa’s singular dancing talent on ‘All I Need Is the Girl” while Kirsten Salpini makes Louise’s unrequited crush on him very clear. Salpini is rivetingly vulnerable on the touching solo “Little Lamb,” and Troilo and Salpini are fully convincing as siblings-especially on the insightful duet “If Momma Was Married.” Barrett and Steven Barkhimer as Mama Rose’s group agent and candy salesman boyfriend Herbie do well with the ups and down of their relationship. Barkhimer’s understated singing fits Herbie’s more reserved responses with highly extroverted Mama Rose. Barrett, Barkhimer and Salpini have the feel of a real family unit on a very winning rendition of “Together, Wherever We Go.” Shannon Lee Jones as Tessie Tura smartly combines insightful attitude and good-natured mentoring with novice burlesque performer Louise. Kathy St. George is a hoot as a deep-voiced horn-touting Mazeppa.”

A luminous Gypsy¬†¬† ‚ÄĒMySouthEnd.com

“The beauty of theater is how it so powerfully reflects our humanity in all of its strengths and weaknesses. Our job is to hold that mirror up so that the audience might learn something about their own journey through life.”

Here Comes Gypsy…And Here Comes Director/Choreographer Rachel Bertone¬†¬† ‚ÄĒHuffPost

 

It goes without saying that Rose’s complexities are what make her one of the most coveted roles for actresses of a certain age. But Rose’s strength is what can also make her a difficult pill for audiences to swallow: She’s loud, she’s direct, and she’s driven, but if her vulnerabilities don’t shine through, the show loses its soul; it’s the right mix of domination and torment that make for a home run. But it’s not easy.

Mama’s Gonna Show It To You¬†¬† ‚ÄĒdigboston

 

The challenge, says Barrett, is making sure she builds a character towards a performance worthy of the show.

“I think ‘Gypsy’ is a masterpiece,” says Barrett. “There really was no strong female character before her, and the story takes us through an extraordinary psychological exploration.”

Not to mention some impressive vocal work.

In ‘Gypsy,’ Leigh Barrett relishes playing a Rose with thorns¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Boston Globe

¬† ‚ÄĒRobert Israel: Writer

Cast & Crew

 

*¬†denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)

Souvenir

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A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins

by Stephen Temperley
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Music direction by Will McGarrahan

Featuring Leigh Barrett & Will McGarrahan recreating their acclaimed performances.

Season Sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey and Bank of America

Production Sponsored by Liz & Paul Kastner
Director Spiro Veloudos sponsored by Mary K. Eliot
Leigh Barrett sponsored by Mary Shaw
Will McGarrahan sponsored by Jon-Daniel Durbin

Running time:   2 hours with one intermission.

Box Office: 617-585-5678 | boxoffice@lyricstage.com
Click Here for Directions, Parking Info, and Local Restaurant Info

Summary

Spiro Veloudos is thrilled to be able to remount one of his favorite productions in celebration of his 20 years as Producing Artistic Director. ¬†Souvenir is an affectionate portrait of Florence Foster Jenkins, one of the finest coloratura sopranos in history — but, alas, only in her own mind! Despite being called “majestically awful,” her concerts in the 1930s and ’40s, including a legendary appearance at Carnegie Hall, were not only sold-out but were attended by the cr√®me de la cr√®me of Manhattan society. Told affectionately through the eyes of her longtime accompanist Cosme McMoon, Souvenir is the sweet, inspiring, hilarious portrait of a passionate music lover who believed that “what matters most is the music you hear in your head.” ¬†¬†Featuring Leigh Barrett & Will McGarrahan recreating their acclaimed performances.

‚ÄúA brilliant performance by Leigh Barrett!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Boston Globe ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ÄúWill McGarrahan is the best!‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Theater Mirror

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Press & Reviews

“Her costumes were among the wildest ever to grace a stage: audience favourites included her giant pair of wings (the ‚ÄúAngel of Inspiration‚ÄĚ) and a tent-like 18th-century ball gown. She would often accessorise her ensembles with a parasol that she would enthusiastically twirl, or ostrich feathers with which she fanned herself.”

10 reasons we love Florence Foster Jenkins¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Telegraph

“Everyone, from the stars to director Veloudos to costume designer Gail Astrid Buckley, seems to be having a grand time in ‚ÄúSouvenir.‚Äô‚Äô Buckley has done outstanding work in creating an array of lavishly eye-popping outfits for Barrett‚Äôs Florence”

An exquisite duet in Lyric Stage‚Äôs ‚ÄėSouvenir‚Äô¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Boston Globe

 

“For the apt balance of mockery and tenderness we should give McGarrahan much credit. A somewhat under sung hero of the Boston stage, he not only acts but also sings and plays piano effortlessly, in the case of ‚ÄúSouvenir‚ÄĚ dotting the recollected proceedings (and offering a palate cleanser after Foster Jenkins‚Äô assaults) with popular period tunes.”

The Soprano Who Couldn’t Sing ‚ÄĒ A Hilarious ‘Souvenir’ Is Reprised By The Lyric Stage Company¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWBUR

 

Go get a ticket. You’ll wince, you’ll cringe, and you’ll love every shattered, crushed, and mutilated note.

Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins¬†¬† ‚ÄĒEdge Media Network

 

Souvenir works on many levels, and the fact that both actors play it straight enhances the beauty and warmth of the story. It also happens to be really funny, but the audience is not encouraged to laugh at Florence’s singing; rather, the humor is spawned by her personality, her foibles, and some of the situations that Temperley shows us. McGarrahan doubles as the show’s music director and, in addition to all of the operatic pieces he plays to accompany Barrett, he tickles the ivories with style (and without benefit of sheet music) on a number of popular tunes of the period. It’s almost like being in a piano bar, only without the bar, and it’s delightful. With the skills and experience brought to the table by Barrett and McGarrahan, Veloudos took the opportunity to add depth to their characterizations. He lets us feel the genuine affection between Florence and Cosm√©, perhaps shining a light on why she was so popular and how her music truly was a joyful noise.

SOUVENIR Redux: A Joyful Noise¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBroadwayWorld

 

“Over at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, the revival of ‚ÄúSouvenir‚ÄĚ is so bad it‚Äôs funny. And that‚Äôs just the way they want it.”

Souvenir’ on Lyric Stage in Boston strikes a chord on the funny bone¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWicked Local

 

“Skip Curtiss‚Äôs set is simple and elegant, serving mostly as Florence‚Äôs rooms at the Ritz, with the removal of a few pieces transporting it to a recital hall. Gail Astrid Buckley‚Äôs marvelous period costumes run the gamut from exquisite to gaudy, which Florence was prone to.”

Lyric‚Äôs ‚ÄúSouvenir‚ÄĚ a Keeper¬†¬† ‚ÄĒTheater Mirror

 

“Barrett and McGarrahan are older and probably wiser, and they‚Äôre able to easily slip back into the roles just as if they were donning a pair of warm slippers, and the warmth and chemistry they project from the stage will have you admiring their artistry all over again, under the capable direction of Spiro Veloudos.”

‚ÄėSouvenir‚Äô: A Repeat Very Much Worth Watching¬†¬† ‚ÄĒOn Boston Stages

 

“…the utmost praise is due to that triple threat of Barrett, McGarrahan and Veloudos, responsible for an uncanny cascade of mind-boggling side-splitters, rib-ticklers and knee-slappers galore. Your attitude toward musical performance may never be quite the same after you’ve experienced this souvenir of a bygone era. (Or error).”

Lyric’s “Souvenir”: A Legend in Her Own Mind¬†¬† ‚ÄĒSouth Shore Critic

 

“Incredibly funny, poignant, wonderfully directed.”

WGBH Arts Editor Reviews Souvenir¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWGBH Morning Edition, Thursday, November 9, 2017

I wanted to do something for my 20th anniversary season that was really special to me,‚ÄĚ said Veloudos. ‚ÄúThere were a number of shows that I could have chosen, but I chose Souvenir for two reasons: One, I find the story fascinating; the other reason is that I get to work with two of my favorite actors. And it‚Äôs grown up a little bit.

A Lovely Souvenir¬†¬† ‚ÄĒDig Boston

Cast & Crew

 

*¬†denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)

About Florence Foster Jenkins

Has a singer ever performed with the vitality and passion of Florence Foster Jenkins? A Carnegie Hall audience has certainly never witnessed such a splendidly horrible performance. Somehow, her powerful voice never seemed to find the right notes. Yet, she sang on with conviction, and somehow it worked.

Born in 1868 as Florence Foster, she was the daughter of Charles Dorrance Foster, a banker and member of the Pennsylvania legislature. Charles Foster instilled a deep passion for music in his daughter at a young age. She started out a piano player, but an arm injury shifted her attention to singing. When her father would not allow her to pursue her dream of studying and performing music, Florence eloped with Dr. Thomas Jenkins. Together, they settled in Philadelphia. The couple was divorced in 1902 and Florence subsequently moved to New York City. After her father’s death in 1909, Florence used her inheritance to enhance her city life. In addition, she finally began to pursue her passion for music and performing.

Florence Foster Jenkins Singing

 

As portrayed in Stephen Temperley‚Äôs ‚Äúfantasia‚ÄĚ on her life, the majority of her performing career consisted of annual benefit recitals and small concerts given for the numerous charities she supported. Audiences were limited by the capacity of the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, her preferred venue. Early patrons were friends and acquaintances, but as word spread about her ‚Äútalent,‚ÄĚ strangers, as well as the cr√®me de la cr√®me of New York Society came, too. Fans included Cole Porter (who wrote a song for Florence), Beatrice Lillie and Thomas Beecham, who played her songs on the British radio.

Laughter in the audience was contagious; audience members would stuff their mouths with their handkerchiefs to keep from laughing. ‚ÄúAt that time, Frank Sinatra had started to sing, and the teenagers used to faint during his notes and scream. She thought she was producing the same kind of an effect, and when these salvos of applause came, she took them as great marks of approval,‚ÄĚ observed Cosme McMoon, her talented piano accompanist at all performances. ‚ÄúShe would pause altogether and bow, many times, and then resume the song.‚ÄĚ

In 1944, Florence succumbed to the pressure of her admirers and announced she would give a concert at Carnegie Hall. One of the most important music venues in the world, musical luminaries Duke Ellington and Leonard Bernstein made their first appearances there just one year earlier. Within weeks of her announcement, all 3,000 tickets to Florence’s October 25 debut were sold and 2,000 ticket-seekers were left disappointed. On November 26, just one month after her performance, Florence died of a sudden heart attack. Some say that the stress of the performance at Carnegie Hall at her age led to her decline in health and death. She was 78.

The legend of Florence Foster Jenkins includes many hilarious and fascinating stories: in performance, she made a habit of changing into different costumes ‚Äďall self-designed ‚Äď between numbers. One of her most famous, depicted on the cover of the posthumously released album¬†The Glory (????) of the Human Voice,¬†included a large pair of angel wings attached to her back. In one performance, she threw flowers about the stage. When the crowd cheered enthusiastically at the end, she retrieved the petals and repeated the number again. One of the most famous tales was that she claimed that experiencing a minor taxi accident enabled her to sing a high F. She tipped the driver generously and subsequently expand her repertoire to include music with the higher range. Though she claimed to be in her sixties throughout the bulk of her career, she was actually in her seventies.

Perhaps people paid attention to Florence because of her sincerity and passion about music. She was always happiest when she sang and her self-confidence seemed never to falter. Some accounts suggest that Florence never knew how she sounded to the critics. Others say that she¬†knew,¬†but simply did not care. She was quoted as saying, ‚ÄúPeople may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.‚ÄĚ

– By Meg Cook and Rebecca Curtiss

 

About Cosmé McMoon

Cosm√© McMoon,¬†¬†Florence Foster Jenkins’s faithful accompanist, first became acquainted the ‚Äúdire diva of din‚ÄĚ in 1927.

Jenkins asked this concert pianist and aspiring composer to play for her first private concert. He continued, accompanying her for¬†private shows at The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, The Birdy Club, on recordings, and at her first and¬†only performance at Carnegie Hall. Although Jenkins’s audiences were often doubled over with laughter, McMoon always played with a straight face and tried his best to highlight what little talent Jenkins had. On her recordings, McMoon can be heard adjusting the rhythm of his playing to accommodate Jenkins’s vocal shortcomings. He also composed songs for her, such as ‚ÄúSerenata Mexicano‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Ant and the Grasshopper.‚ÄĚ Their partnership lasted until her sudden death in 1944.

– Notes by Katie Kierstead

Hold These Truths

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by Jeanne Sakata

Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

Choreography by Jubilith Moore

Featuring Michael Hisamoto*, with Khloe Alice Lin, Gary Thomas Ng*, Samantha Richert*

Hold These Truths is the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants, who resisted internment during World War II, a policy which continues to be cited and debated today.  Michael Hisamoto (Stage Kiss) plays Hirabayashi, a college student and a Quaker, whose hope and unquenchable patriotism over 50 years will leave audiences cheering.

Theatrical magic will be created by the use of three¬†kurogos,¬†‚Äúinvisible‚Ä̬†on-stage attendants found in Japan’s Kabuki theatrical tradition.¬†

The production’s aesthetics will reflect both Gordon Hirabayashi’s Japanese ancestry and his Quaker upbringing.

Summary

Told through flashbacks, Hirabayashi takes us¬†through¬†his early life, challenging the curfew and¬†exclusion orders¬†in 1942.¬†In a virtuosic turn, Hisamoto portrays not only Hirabayashi, but also his parents, college friends, lawyers, military leaders, Supreme Court justices, Hopi Indians he meets in prison, and the Arizona prison boss who can’t figure out why he has hitchhiked down the California coast for his own imprisonment. His storytelling is assisted by a trio of¬†kurogo¬†‚ÄĒ traditional Japanese¬†stage hands¬†‚ÄĒ choreographed by Jubilith Moore and directed by Benny Sato Ambush.

He may have lost his case when he was alive, but Hirabayashi, a Quaker (“God is in each heart, not in a church”) and a University of Washington student who was active in the YMCA leadership training program, was posthumously awarded the¬†Presidential Medal of Freedom¬†in 2012 by President Barack Obama. Paving the way to Hirabayashi’s ultimate victory, legal historian Peter Irons discovered myriad military documents, letters, and memos admitting that confining Japanese Americans to camps had not been a necessary security measure: The camps, they implied, were created out of hysteria and racism. Full of theatricality and humanity,¬†Hold These Truths¬†celebrates resistance and offers startling¬†parallels for¬†contemporary politics.

Season Sponsored by Lee & Diana Humphrey and Bank of America

Production sponsored by Mary and Doug Woodruff

Approximately 100 minutes with no intermission

Box Office: 617-585-5678 | boxoffice@lyricstage.com
Click Here for Directions, Parking Info, and Local Restaurant Info

“An extraordinary relevant message for today!”¬†‚ÄĒ Chicago Star Tribune

“Absorbing, rewarding, surprisingly humorous and openhearted!”¬†‚ÄĒ Seattle Times

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Press & Reviews

Surprisingly funny at times, nearly always profound and of course resonant, the play has great power. Its force is dependent on the skill of Hisamoto, and he commands the stage, first with his wide-eyed innocence, then with growing disenchantment, finally with righteous anger.

South Shore Critic¬†¬† ‚ÄĒSouth Shore Critic

 

“Ambush is not only an invested director but a good one. The droll and delicate Lyric production tells Hirabayashi‚Äôs tale in a fashion in which his combined cultures gracefully dovetail. The kurogos capture both the modesty and fluidity of Japanese theater, Hisamoto Hirabayashi‚Äôs touching belief in both Japanese family values and the American rights he learns are far from unalienable.”

A Solo Exploration Of Japanese Internment, Lyric Stage’s ‘Hold These Truths’ Is Timely And Relevant¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWBUR The ARTery

 

“Replete with passion and outrage, but also solace and hope. a play that’s intended not to berate, but to liberate.”

We Hold These Truths¬†¬† ‚ÄĒEdge Media Network

 

“Superb! Surprisingly uplifting!” “If you‚Äôre looking for a way to find some holiday spirit but aren‚Äôt ready to take in one of the many fine productions of ‘A Christmas Carol’ being offered throughout the region, this may be the answer.”

Lyric‚Äôs ‚ÄėHold These Truths‚Äô Brings Light to Dark Chapter of American History¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Theater Mirror

 

“[Michael Hisamoto] immerses himself in the character of Hirabayashi, delivering a subtly textured portrayal that conveys a vivid sense of the personality, as well as the fervent idealism, of a man who was willing to sacrifice his freedom for a cause.”

In ‚ÄėHold These Truths,‚Äô how a country turned on its own people¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Boston Globe

 

“Gracefully staged by director Benny Sato Ambush, who is aided mightily by the adroit, feathery movements of the kurogos (Khloe Alice Lin, Gary Thomas Ng, and Samantha Richert). The trio‚Äôs actions as stagehands (and, on occasion, pantomimists) are deftly choreographed by Jubilith Moore.”

Theater Review: ‚ÄúHold These Truths‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ A Vital Lesson¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Art Fuse

 

“Scenic designer Shelley Barish has set the play against a backdrop of sliding screens, as if the action were taking place in a traditional Japanese home. White fabric floats above the stage to serve as a screen for Jonathan Carr’s projections, which alternate between the WWII battles and the bleak landscapes where the camps were located. The music and sound score, created by Arshan Gailus, add to the Japanese-style aura.”

Hold These Truths¬†¬† ‚ÄĒTheater Mania

 

It was wonderful to see Spiro stride confidently onto the stage with just a cane. He seemed the strongest he’s been since the illness and his voice was back to its old self. My best to you and him and everyone at Lyric for a happy, healthy holiday season.

A HUMAN ‚ÄėNAIL‚Äô TRIUMPHS IN ‚ÄėHOLD THESE TRUTHS‚Äô¬†¬† ‚ÄĒOn Boston Stages

 

When the lights first illuminate the stage for the opening act of We Hold These Truths now playing at the Lyric Stage, Michael Hisamoto in the role of Gordon Hirabayashi is sitting in a chair facing the audience. There is a very long pause before he begins to speak. This creates an expectation that what we are about to hear from Mr. Hirabayashi is going to very important. In fact, not only what develops on that stage important, it is also deeply moving.

A Powerful Work About A Principled American Standing Up To Hatred And His Government¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBoxing Over Broadway

 

PREVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the case for a lot of historical figures in the Asian-American community that they‚Äôre not widely known,‚ÄĚ said Michael Hisamoto, who stars as Hirabayashi. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a testament to being brave and standing up for your principles even though you fear what you might lose.‚ÄĚ

One-man play tells the story of a man who resisted the internment of Japanese-Americans¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWicked Local Reading

 

Director Benny Sato Ambush describes ‚ÄúHold These Truths‚ÄĚ as a ‚Äúone-man show with a cast of thousands.‚ÄĚ To augment actor Michael Hisamoto‚Äôs performance, Sato Ambush has enlisted the help of choreographer Jubilith Moore, who has integrated kurogos, traditional stage attendants in the Japanese theater forms of kabuki and noh, into the play.

A ‚ÄėDream‚Äô team for New Rep‚Äôs ‚ÄėMan of La Mancha‚Äô¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBoston Globe

 

‚ÄúGordon was the picture of principled resistance, sustained over a lifetime,‚ÄĚ said director Benny Sato Ambush. ‚ÄúHe insisted he was an American citizen ‚ÄĒ who looked like he did and had an ancestry like his ‚ÄĒ and that he be treated equally.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄėHold These Truths‚Äô brings Japanese-American internment to center stage¬†¬† ‚ÄĒSampan

Cast & Crew

 

*¬†denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)

Road Show

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Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman
Co-Directed by Spiro Veloudos and Ilyse Robbins
Music direction by Jonathan Goldberg
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

 

Production sponsored by Nina & Don Berk
Co-Director Spiro Veloudos sponsored by Richard & Sally Zeckhauser
Co-Director and Choreographer Ilyse Robbins sponsored by Glenda & Bob Fishman
Music Director Jon Goldberg sponsored by Jo-An Heileman
Orchestra Sponsored by Dick Rousseau

Runtime: Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission
Box Office: 617-585-5678 | boxoffice@lyricstage.com
Click Here for Directions, Parking Info, and Local Restaurant Info

Summary

On his continuing journey through the works of Stephen Sondheim, director Spiro Veloudos brings us Sondheim‚Äôs latest work, Road Show, the true boom-and-bust story of two of the most colorful and outrageous fortune-seekers in American history. From the Alaskan Gold Rush to the Florida real estate boom in the 1930s, entrepreneur Addison Mizner and his fast-talking brother Wilson were proof positive that the road to the American Dream is often a seductive, treacherous tightrope walk. ¬†¬†As the Guardian said, ‚ÄúRoad Show is lyrically witty, musically rich, and has the sardonic satirical appeal of the Sondheim-Weidman Assassins.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúUnquestionably worth the trip! ¬†Emotional richness, a spry score, and fiddle-fast lyrics.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ The Telegraph

SYNOPSIS

Road Show was inspired by a New Yorker article Stephen Sondheim read about the real-life Mizner brothers, Addison and Wilson, who were born in California in the late 1800s. Beginning at the deathbed of their father who encourages them to go out and mold the new nation, the musical spans the globe from the Klondike gold rush to India, Hawaii, Guatemala, New York, and eventually the real-estate boom of Boca Raton, Florida. Over 40 years, the brothers seek out the amorphous and elusive American Dream through the booms and busts of the early 20th century, with bouts of brotherly love and hate. The musical travelogue takes a close look at the optimism and opportunism of the time through the lens of two ambitious, eccentric, and charming individuals.

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Press & Reviews

[an often] entertaining take on a quintessentially American story.

the lyrics are clever [enough], sometimes even laugh-out-loud funny.

[this ably sung and acted production] is well worth a look.

‚ÄúRoad Show‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Sondheim‚Äôs Latest Gets Its Boston Premiere¬†¬† ‚ÄĒArts Fuse

 

As I have written before, the team at the The Lyric Stage really knows how to put on these small scale musical productions. Mr. Veloudos and Ms Robbins work very well together. But that should not come as any surprise as both know their craft and have given audiences many great productions.

Road Show At The Lyric Stage¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBoxing over Broadway

 

Collaborating with Ilyse Robbins as co-director/choreographer and Jonathan Goldberg as Music Director, Veloudos does what he does best, which is to make the elements of the musical conform to the parameters of the Lyric Stage jewel box.

Sondheim’s score is the beating heart of Road Show, moving the story forward and helping to define the characters. With about a dozen and a half musical numbers in a 90-minute show, the songs do more than the book to tell the story, and do it better.

Sondheim’s ROAD SHOW: Looking For America¬†¬† ‚ÄĒBroadway World

 

PREVIEWS & INTERVIEWS

“I didn’t look at the season because I thought, There’s nothing for me in “Road Show.”‘ And then I got the call to come in to the audition, and I started doing research. I listened to ‘Wise Guys’ and ‘Bounce’ and ‘Road Show,’ all the different productions, and I thought ‘This is classic Sondheim.’ There’s a game we play in rehearsal: ‘That’s from this play! This is from that play!’ Because everything sounds like Sondheim. But it’s different! It’s weird. I know Sondheim, but this show, there’s, like, one song or two songs that stick out melodically. But it’s really just, like, you get on this ride, musically and dramatically, and you just go from song to scene to song to scene.”

‘Bounce’ing from ‘Wise Guys’ to ‘Road Show’ – Tony Castellanos on Getting Sondheim Right¬†¬† ‚ÄĒEdge Boston

 

‚ÄúI think Sondheim was originally trying to pack in an enormous amount of information,‚ÄĚ says Veloudos, so the earlier versions, called ‚ÄúBounce‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúWise Guys,‚ÄĚ ran closer to three hours. This version is a tight 100 minutes and runs without an intermission. ‚ÄúThe story still works as a memory play, jumping back and forth in time and space, but Cristina Tedesco has created a brilliant set that allows us to open up and then put away articles and locations the way we recall cherished memories.‚ÄĚ

Two for the ‘Road’¬†¬† ‚ÄĒThe Boston Globe

 

It’s also a story about two very different brothers, who supported and undermined each other. Addison, an architect who was gay, wanted to create beauty as well as get rich and he eventually designed many luxury homes in Florida. Wilson, a professional gambler and womanizer (who in real life also wrote plays and screenplays) cared for little other than himself.

http://hopedale.wickedlocal.com/entertainment/20180111/theater-sondheimss-road-show-travels-to-boston¬†¬† ‚ÄĒWicked Local

 

‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs much more common now for writers to be willing to take a second look at their shows after the first major production,‚ÄĚ said Goldberg, ‚Äúas opposed to what we might call the ‚Äėgolden age‚Äô of musicals, when all of the adjusting was done merely in tryouts ‚Ķ and then the show was usually left as is for posterity.‚ÄĚ

Lyric Stage takes a new spin on Sondheim‚Äôs ‚ÄėRoad Show‚Äô¬†¬† ‚ÄĒJewish Journal

Cast & Crew

 

*¬†denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)

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