Long Wharf Theatre, in a co-production with The Public Theater, presents the world premiere of February House

NEW HAVEN – Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, presents the world premiere of February House, directed by Davis McCallum, with music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and book by Seth Bockley.

Long Wharf Theatre is uniting with the Public Theater in New York to produce February House, a new musical featuring the music of up-and-comer Gabriel Kahane. The musical will bow on Stage II February 15 through March 18.  The press opening is Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45-$65.

The show will play at the Public Theater from May 8 through June 10, 2012.

The cast includes Stanley Bahorek (Benjamin Britten), Ken Barnett (Peter Pears), Ken Clark (Reeves McCullers), Julian Fleisher (George Davis), Stephanie Hayes (Erika Mann), Erik Lochtefeld (W.H. Auden), Kacie Sheik (Gypsy Rose Lee), A.J. Shively (Chester Kallman), and Kristen Sieh (Carson McCullers). The creative team is comprised of Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Mark Barton (lights), Leon Rothenberg (sound), Andy Boroson (musical director) and Cole Bonenberger (production stage manager.)

Bringing together some of the greatest and most colorful minds of a generation, including W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, George Davis tries to create his own utopia in a small house in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s.  The artists discover new ideas exploding at every turn as they find love, friendship and their own artistic voices in a time of war.  “It is a kind of romp,” Edelstein said. “This musical is about breaking out. It is a celebration of eccentricity, artistry, and a kind of failed utopian dream. They are dreaming about making a better world. If they can make the better world in their home, maybe they can make one in the outside world.”

Written by up-and-coming composer Gabriel Kahane, the exciting score mixes elements of classical operetta, jazz, and musical comedy with modern folk-pop. In addition to his work on February House, Kahane has recently released his second album, entitled “Where Are The Arms,” debuted his song cycle “Orinoco Sketches” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and embarked on a solo tour. He also performed with Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Punch Brothers, and Audra McDonald.  “I am very excited about this new musical,” Edelstein said. “It is a fresh new work with fresh new talent making it.”

The musical is based on Sherill Tippins’ literary biography “February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America.” At Seven Middagh Street, a shabby Brooklyn brownstone, this disparate group of artists fell in love, partied, fought and created in a utopian environment that would later dissipate. The name of the home was bestowed because so many of the famous artists who lived there were born in February.

For more information, call 203-787-4282 or visit www.longwharf.org.

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CREATIVE TEAM BIOS

Stanley Bahorek

Benjamin Britten

Mr. Bahorek is making his Long Wharf Theatre debut. He has appeared on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the national tour of Big River. Off-Broadway: See Rock City, Inventing Avi, Rent, and Wood. His regional credits include Happy Days and Emmet Otter’s Jugband (Goodspeed), Candide, [title of show], Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Ordinary Days, Up In The Air, Fiddler on the Roof, Good News!, Cinderella, Parade and Assassins. His television and film credits include “Law & Order: CI” and Paws. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan.

Ken Barnett

Peter Pears

Broadway: Wonderful Town, Julie Taymor’s The Green Bird.  Off-Broadway: Manon/Sandra, La Ronde (Outstanding Acting Award, 2009 NY Fringe), Debbie Does Dallas,  Susan Stroman’s Christmas Carol, Whore of Sheridan Square (nomination: Best Featured Actor—NYIT). Regional work includes: Next Fall at the Geffen, Burn This (Burton) at the Taper, Clear at the O’Neill, Glass Menagerie (Tom), Adam Guettel’s Myths + Hymns (nomination: Best Actor–Philly Awards), Merrily We Roll Along (Frank) at the Guthrie, and Mame (opposite Christine Ebersole).  Film/TV favorites: Welcome to People, Friends With Kids, Puccini for Beginners, “Mad Men,” “In Plain Sight,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Entourage,” “The Boring Life of Jacqueline” (HBO).  Ken is a graduate of Wesleyan University.  See www.kenbarnett.net for more.

Ken Clark

Reeves McCullers

Ken Clark is honored to be part of a project as exciting as February House, at a theater as fantastic as Long Wharf! National tour: La Cage Aux Folles (Etienne). Regional: Urinetown (Bobby Strong) and Guys and Dolls (Sky), both here in Connecticut at Connecticut Rep; Sweeney Todd (Anthony), Rent (Roger). Love to Mom, Dad, Gramps, Granny and Stoop, and as always, a huge thank you to Stone Manners and Station 3.

 

Julian Fleisher

George Davis

Mr. Fleisher is making his Long Wharf Theatre debut. He is a singer who has appears regularly at such venues  as Joe’s Pub, BAM, Symphony Space, The Winter Garden, The Highline  Ballroom, The Aspen Music Festival, The Mark Taper Forum and many others including the Actor’s Gang in LA, where he and Martha Plimpton performed their sold-out nightclub act Save It for the Stage. Recently, he joined the cast of the 92nd St. Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists tribute to Sammy Kahn and he is an alumnus of MCC’s Miscast. Julian produced his own recording, Rather Big, (Modern Records) as well as both CDs by Kiki & Herb. He composed the music for off-Broadway’s Almost, Maine, The Portland Stage’s production of Rough Crossing, the Connecticut Rep’s Love’s Labors Lost and he is currently composing the new musical, Stop Talking. Julian hosts several popular podcasts including his own Julian Fleisher’s Guilty Pleasures, a periodic survey of the songs we hate to admit that we love. www.julianfleisher.com

 

Stephanie Hayes

Erika Mann

Originally from Sweden/UK, Stephanie recently graduated from Yale School of Drama and is excited to return to New Haven for her Long Wharf debut. During her time at Yale, Stephanie appeared in The Seagull as Nina, Eurydice as Mr. Henri (aka. Death), Much Ado About Nothing as Dogberry, Homebody/Kabul as Pricilla and Orestes as Helen of Troy. Stephanie is also a writer and is currently working on a new play about immigration in America. Written plays include Rigor Mortis, Exit, Commander Kitty! and Vaska Vaska Glöm: A tale for Forgetters and Fish. Although new to the New York scene, Stephanie has worked as an actor, writer and musician in Sweden, UK and Canada. She is an associate member in the Vancouver based Tigermilk Collective.

 

Erik Lochtefeld

W.H. Auden

Mr. Lochtefeld was an original cast member of Mary Zimmerman’s Tony Award winning Metamorphoses on and off-Broadway. Other New York credits include Zimmerman’s The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci at Second Stage, But I’m a Cheerleader at NYMF, and Powerhouse at the NY Fringe(Best Ensemble Award).  Recent regional credits include Candide at the Goodman, Shakespeare and Huntington Theatre, Ethan Frome at Lookingglass Theatre, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at Hartford Stage, the title role in Abe Lincoln in Illinois at the Intiman, the world premiere of Richard Nelson’s How Shakespeare Won the West at the Huntington, These Shining Lives at Baltimore Centerstage, Katurian in The Pillowman at Berkeley Rep and Tom in The Glass Menagerie opposite Rita Moreno (Bay Area Critics Nom. Best Actor), also at Berkeley Rep. He has had the pleasure of working at The O’Neill, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cal Shakes, Two River Theatre, McCarter, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, Yale Rep, Chicago Shakespeare and Williamstown Theatre Festival, among others.  Television credits include “All My Children,” “Third Watch” and “Law & Order.”  He is a graduate of Northwestern University

 

Kacie Sheik

Gypsy Rose Lee

The real Gypsy Rose Lee always followed her own maxim: “Make ‘em beg for more, and then don’t give it to them.” Unfortunately for Kacie, that ship has sailed, since nearly one million people already saw her naked, as Jeanie in the Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of Hair (Central Park, Broadway, West End, National Tour – Helen Hayes nomination for Best Actress at The Kennedy Center). Kacie is thrilled to join The February House team, especially since she has been obsessed with Gypsy Rose Lee since playing “Dainty June” in a community theater production when she was 14.  Thanks to the Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, and the creative team for this opportunity. Additional stage: “Scaramouche” – We Will Rock You (Las Vegas); TV/Film: Law and Order, Julie and Julia. Currently, Kacie is working on a new solo-artist EP.

 

A.J. Shively

Chester Kallman

Mr. Shively Is very excited to be performing at Long Wharf Theatre for the first time! He recently finished a holiday run in the title role of Gerard Alessandrini’s Tchaikovsky spoof, The Nutcracker And I at The George Street Playhouse. A.J. made his Broadway debut originating the role of Jean-Michel in the most recent revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Other credits include The Sound of Music (1st Nat’l Tour); Brigadoon (Irish Rep.); Things To Ruin (Second Stage); ReWrite (Urban Stages); Little Airplanes of the Heart (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Readings/Workshops for Center Theatre Group, DreamWorks, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, The York, FringeNYC and NYMF. He holds a BFA from The University of Michigan. Big thanks to Davis, Gabriel, Seth, Jordan and Heidi, everyone at Station 3 and Leading Artists, and my incredible family. GO BLUE!

 

Kristen Sieh

Carson McCullers

Kristen is a founding member of New York-based theater company, The TEAM.  She has developed work and performed in New York, nationally and internationally with Elevator Repair Service (Gatz, The Sound and the Fury, Shuffle), The Builder’s Association (Jet Lag), Taylor Mac (The Lily’s Revenge, numerous concerts, workshops and readings), Lear DeBessonet (the title role in Brecht’s St. Joan of the Stockyards), Banana Bag and Bodice (Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage), Half Straddle, Tim Crouch (An Oak Tree, Obie Award), The Riot Group, The National Theatre of Scotland (Architecting), The New Group (The Women of Lockerbie), and many others.  Regional and international credits include: Syracuse Stage (The Turn of the Screw), Denver Center (Pride and Prejudice), Baltimore CenterStage (Picnic; ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead; The Voysey Inheritence), Triad Stage (Dracula), The A.R.T. (Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage; Particularly in the Heartland; Gatz).  The Barbican Center, London (Architecting), The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (Particularly in the Heartland, Architecting), The Almeida Theatre (Mission Drift), The Adelaide Festival, Australia (The Sound and the Fury), and The Singapore Arts Festival (Gatz).  TV: Boardwalk Empire (‘Louise,’ recurring); Law & Order. 

 

Davis McCallum

Director

Davis McCallum recently directed the world premiere of Quiara Hudes’ Water By The Spoonful at Hartford Stage. NEW YORK: Sam Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort; Drama Desk Nomination) and Five Gencoides (Clubbed Thumb), Michael Mitnick’s Sex Lives of Our Parents (Second Stage), Greg Moss’s punkplay (Clubbed Thumb), Chuck Mee’s Queens Boulevard (Signature Theater), Quiara Hudes’ Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue (P73; Pulitzer Prize Finalist),  Henry V (New Victory), Jane Eyre, The Tempest, The Turn Of The Screw (The Acting Company). REGIONAL: the Guthrie, the Old Globe, Humana, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown, Alliance Theater Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, the O’Neill, Playmakers Rep, Two River, New York Stage & Film, others. OTHER: Drama League Fellowship (2001); Phil Killian Fellowship (2003); NEA/TCG Career Development Program (2007); Boris Sagal Fellowship (2010), Princess Grace Honoree (2011). He has taught directing at Princeton University and the New School for Drama. He trained at LAMDA and studied at Princeton and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

 

Gabriel Kahane

Music and Lyrics

Gabriel Kahane’s most recent recording as a singer-songwriter is Where are the Arms, which was released in 2011. As a composer of concert works, he has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, the Caramoor Festival, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, for whom he serves as Composer-in-Residence from 2011-2013 through a Music Alive! grant from Meet-the-Composer. He has performed and/or recorded with, among others, Sufjan Stevens, Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, and composer/conductor John Adams. In October, he makes his Carnegie Hall solo debut in a concert devoted to his music. A MacDowell Colony Fellow in 2010 and 2011, Gabriel lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

 

Seth Bockley

Book

Seth Bockley’s plays include Ask Aunt Susan (featured at the Goodman’s New Stages Amplified series in November 2011);The Twins Would Like To Say (Dog & Pony); Laika’s Coffin, Winter Pageant 2010, Boneyard Prayer (Redmoon). Adaptations: Jon and CommComm (from short stories by George Saunders). Directing credits: The Ugly One by Marius von Mayenburg (Sideshow Theater); Civilization (all you can eat) by Jason Grote (Clubbed Thumb); 1001 by Jason Grote; Jon, winner of the 2008 Jeff Citation for Best New Adaptation (Collaboraction). He is a recipient of Theater Communication Group’s “New Generations” and “On The Road” grants, and teaches at the University of Chicago.