MasterVoices | Orchestra of St. Lukes | Ted Sperling, Conductor
In 1941, the groundbreaking psychological thriller Lady in the Dark helped usher in a new era of innovation in musical theater thanks to its spectacular creative team of Gershwin, Hart, and Weill. Now MasterVoices, with choreographer Doug Varone and a team of top designers from the theater, dance, and fashion worlds, will bring this seminal piece of theater history lavishly to life once more. Tony® Award winner Victoria Clark stars as Liza, a successful magazine editor wrestling with her inner demons and desires.
Lady in the Dark features MasterVoices’ 120 singers, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Doug Varone and Dancers. Varone’s new choreography makes dance an integral element in Liza’s story, as dancers act out her thoughts sung by the chorus. In addition to Miss Clark, the cast of eight includes Tony Nominees Montego Glover, Ashley Park, and Ron Raines; Ben Davis, Christopher Innvar, and David Pittu; and Golden Globe Award and Academy Award Nominee Amy Irving.
For the surreal Glamour, Wedding, and Circus dream sequences for which the revolutionary Broadway musical is known, MasterVoices enlists the curatorial help of Vogue international editor-at-large Hamish Bowles to identify designers to collaborate on the costumes. He selected Zac Posen to bring his glamour and period-inspired sophistication to the design of the Glamour Dream in which Liza dreams that she is the toast of New York high society. Marchesa known for their eccentric fashions will strike a balance between romance and Gothic elegance in the Wedding Dream with its themes of sex and death. Thom Browne’s sense of whimsy, playful use of bright colors and oversized patterns, will help visualize the Circus Dream with its “house-of-mirrors” effect representing Liza’s tortured mind. Thanks to a Zac Posen collaboration with Brooks Brothers, the brand is dressing the male dancers in the Glamour Dream. Costume designer Tracy Christensen—who has worked previously on MasterVoices projects including The Pirates of Penzance, Song of Norway, and Babes in Toyland—will provide the clothing for the real-life scenes, and also supplement and coordinate the work of the three fashion designers for the dreams.
This presentation will be, in its own way, as lush and extravagant as the original production of 1941. Mr. Sperling added, “Lady in the Dark is a piece I have loved since discovering it 35 years ago. I had the pleasure of directing a full production at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia in 2001, and now am finally able to bring this neglected masterpiece back to New York, directing my great college friend, Victoria Clark…. It’s a dream come true.”
Not seen in New York since City Center’s inaugural Encores! season in 1994, this physically expressive concert staging will be presented as part of New York City Center’s 75th Anniversary Season.
Tickets for Lady in the Dark are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office at 131 W. 55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues).
Watch this video to learn more about our production.
Read a note from our Director, Ted Sperling about MasterVoices’ Lady in the Dark
Read the Lady in the Dark press release.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Victoria Clark LIZA ELLIOTT, editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Allure
Amy Irving DR. BROOKS, a psychiatrist
Ashley Park MISS FOSTER, Liza’s secretary / SUTTON, Liza’s maid
Montego Glover MAGGIE GRANT, fashion editor of Allure
David Pittu RUSSELL PAXTON, staff photographer of Allure / Beekman, Liza’s chauffeur
Christopher Innvar CHARLEY JOHNSON, advertising manager of Allure/a Marine
Ben Davis RANDY CURTIS, a Hollywood star
Ron Raines KENDALL NESBITT, publisher of Allure / PIERRE, headwaiter at The Seventh Heaven
Music by Kurt Weill
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Book by Moss Hart
Script Adaptation by Christopher Hart and Kim Kowalke
Directed and Conducted by Ted Sperling
Choreography by Doug Varone
Scenic Design by Doug Fitch
Lighting Design by James F. Ingalls
Costume Design- Tracy Christensen
Sound Design by Scott Lehrer
Fashion Design Curated by Vogue International Editor-at-Large Hamish Bowles
With Select Looks Provided by Thom Browne, Marchesa, and Zac Posen
Production Manager – John Finen
Associate Conductor – Jesse Leong
Associate Director – Samantha Saltzman
Costume Consultant Assistant – Brooke Henderson
Casting by Telsey + Company
Major funding for Lady in the Dark has been generously provided by: Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation; Nancy Dale Becker; Susan S. & Kenneth L. Wallach Foundation; Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts; the Howard Gilman Foundation; Jerome Robbins Foundation; The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music; National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund; Frank and Mary Skillern; and The Roger Rees Fund for Musical Theater.
Previous MV Performances: The Firebrand of Florence (2009), The Grapes of Wrath (2010), The Mikado (2012), Not the Messiah (2014) Dido & Aeneas (2016), Naamah's Ark (2018)
Victoria Clark maintains a remarkable career as actor, teacher, and director. She has co-starred in twelve Broadway shows, and countless off-Broadway and regional productions. Victoria received the 2005 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her luminous portrayal of Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, and received three additional Tony nominations for her work in Sister Act, Cinderella, and Gigi.
Clark has directed the Conor McPherson drama, The Dance of Death which was presented at the Classic Stage Company theater. Prior to that she directed the world premiere of Scaffolding for “Inner Voices”. In 2016, she directed Newton’s Cradle (New York Musical Theater Festival, Best Musical & Best Director), The Trouble With Doug (Fredericia Theater in Denmark), Hansel and Gretl and Heidi and Günther (Village Theater Festival of New Musicals), Mary Jo Shen’s Paper Piano. She has also directed for the Philadelphia Opera Theater, Texas Opera Theater, Chautauqua Opera and the 92nd Street Y. She recently directed the short film For Me & My Gal for NikoFrank Productions.
She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Kurt Weill Foundation and New York City Center. She resides in Manhattan with her husband Tom Reidy, and their Golden Retriever, Ollie.
Previous MV Performance: Knickerbocker Holiday (2011)
Ben Davis recently starred as Cosmo Constantine in Encores! Call Me Madam. Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, “The Preacher” in Violet, Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Javert and Enjolras in Les Miserables, and Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He received a Tony Honor and Ovation Award for his work as Marcello in Baz Luhrmann’s Broadway production of La Boheme. Nat’l tours: Cpt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and Galahad in Spamalot. Opposite Kelli O’Hara and Victor Garber in Kurt Weill’s, Knickerbocker Holiday at Lincoln Center (Recorded Live) and in concert opposite Ms. O’Hara with Ted Sperling. Also New York City Opera/BAM production of Anna Nicole, The Opera. TV/Film: Papageno in The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh, Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, and Numb3rs. Concerts: Philly Pops, RTÉ Orchestra, The Boston Pops at Tanglewood, Caramoor, at The Hollywood Bowl as Older Patrick in Mame, with the LA Philharmonic in concert and Bernstein’s Mass. For Dad.
Previous MV Performance: The Pirates of Penzance (2015)
Tony Award Nominee, Drama League Nominee, Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle Award Winner for Memphis (Felicia Farrell). Broadway: Les Miserables (Fantine), It Shoulda Been You (Annie), The Color Purple (OBC, Celie & Nettie), The Royale (Nina, Drama Desk Award Winner). Most recently, Hamilton in the role of Angelica Schuyler.
Selected Regional: La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, Old Globe, earning an IRNE Award, a Craig Noel Nomination, and a Helen Hayes Nomination for her work.
Television & film: The Following, Black Box, Hostages, Smash, Golden Boy, The Good Wife, White Collar, NYC 22, Law & Order, Made In Jersey and the independent feature Broken Soldier.
Concert work: NY Pops, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Symphony Orchestra in DC, as well as: Houston, Dayton, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Sun Valley, Toronto, Edmonton, Smith Center, and Caramoor Music Festival.
Numerous commercials, voiceovers, and animated characters. @montegoglover www.MontegoGlover.com
Broadway: Victor/Victoria, Les Miserables, The Three Penny Opera, 110 In The Shade, The People In The Picture, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, The Snow Geese. Off Broadway projects include Floyd Collins at Playwright’s Horizons(Nonesuch Records), King Lear at the Delacorte, Signature, Atlantic, Women’s Project, Vineyard, Transport Group, Red Bull, MTC, Lincoln Center. Directing: The Other Place, The Whipping Man, Shining City, Period Piece/Collyer Brothers, Camping With Henry and Tom-Barrington Stage(Associate Artist). Recent Film/TV: The Post, The Sinner, Elementary, Blacklist; Redemption, Chicago Fire. Recent NY theatre- Kurt in Strindberg’s The Dance of Death at Classic Stage Company directed by Victoria Clarke.
Ashley Jini Park is a Grammy and Tony nominated actress born in Glendale, California and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she graduated from the famed Musical Theatre program at The University of Michigan.
After making her Broadway debut in Broadway’s “Mamma Mia!”, Ashley starred as ‘Tuptim’ opposite Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, and Conrad Ricamora in the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of “The King And I” at New York’s Lincoln Center. She then co-starred in Broadway’s “Sunday In The Park With George” starring Jake Gyllenhaal while filming the second season of “Nightcap” (Pop TV/ Lionsgate/ Dakota Pictures). In 2018, Ashley took Broadway and Off Broadway by storm. She starred in the award winning “KPOP” and was honored with the esteemed Lucille Lortel award for Lead Actress in a Musical. This same year, Ashley starred as ‘Gretchen Wieners’ in the Tina Fey Musical “Mean Girls” based on the feature of the same name. Her honest portrayal of the interminably insecure Gretchen garnered her a Tony nomination for Featured Actress in A Musical.
Previous MV Performance: The Firebrand of Florence (2009), Of Thee I Sing (2017)
Recent theater: The Front Page (Broadway), Big River (City Center/Encores!), The Mystery of Love & Sex (Mark Taper Forum), The Heir Apparent (CSC).
Recent TV: Chicago PD, Search Party, House of Cards, The Blacklist, Power, Mercy Street, The Following, The Knick.
Broadway: Tony-nominated performances in Is He Dead? and LoveMusik.
Other notable theater: What’s That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling (also wrote & directed), Twelfth Night (Delacorte, St Clare Bayfield Award), Parade (National tour, National Broadway Award), and much more.
Other Film/TV: Cafe Society, True Story, King Kong, Men in Black III, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Damages, all of the Law & Order series.
David is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. He last appeared with MasterVoices in The Firebrand of Florence, directed by Roger Rees.
Television: CBS’ longest running daytime drama GUIDING LIGHT (Alan Spaulding/ three time Emmy nominee and three time Soap Opera Digest Award nominee), Four PBS “Great Performances”: MY FAVORITE BROADWAY: THE LOVE SONGS, GERSHWIN AT 100, THE RODGERS AND HART STORY “Thou Swell Thou Witty” and EVENING AT POPS (Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart). Broadway & New York theatre: CHICAGO (Billy Flynn), SHOWBOAT (Ravenal/1983 revival), TEDDY AND ALICE, OLYMPUS ON THE MIND, THE MERRY WIDOW (NYCO), THE DUCHESS OF GEROLSTEIN, OH LADY! LADY!, and CARNEGIE HALL’S TRIBUTE TO LERNER AND LOEWE. Other theatre: Five productions of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (opposite the Desirees of Christine Ebersole, Amy Irving, Mary Beth Peil, Leslie Uggams and Cleo Laine), SOUTH PACIFIC, ANNIE, KISMET, KISS ME KATE, THE KING AND I, BRIGADOON, OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL, SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, FOLLIES and MAN OF LA MANCHA to name just a few In concert: with over 50 symphony orchestras including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston Pops (with John Williams and Keith Lockhart), Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Pittsburgh (with Marvin Hamlisch), Philadelphia Pops (with Peter Nero), San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC’s National Symphony in addition to the Israeli Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony and in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the London Palladium.
Amy Irving. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia, Three Sisters, Broken Glass (Outer Critics, Drama Desk nominations), Heartbreak House (Drama Desk nomination), Amadeus. Other theatre: The Vagina Monologues, The Heidi Chronicles, Blithe Spirit, Romeo and Juliet, The Road to Mecca (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), Ghosts, Celadine, A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop, Waters Of March,Glass Menagerie, Motherhood Out Loud, A Little Night Music, We Live Here, Cheri. Films: Carrie, The Fury, Voices, Honeysuckle Rose, The Competition, Yentl (Academy Award nomination), Micki and Maude, Rumplestiltskin, Crossing Delancey (Golden Globe nomination), A Show of Force, Benefit of the Doubt, Carried Away, I’m Not Rappaport, Deconstructing Harry, The Confession, Bossa Nova, Tuck Everlasting,13 Conversations About One Thing, Traffic, Hide and Seek, Adam, Unsane and she next stars in the feature film Confetti. Television Credits: Anastasia (Golden Globe nomination), Law & Order SVU, Alias, House, Zero Hour, The Good Wife, The Affair.
Doug Varone, Choreographer
Previous MV Performance: Dido & Aeneas (2016)
Award-winning choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theatre, opera, film, and fashion. He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. His work is known for its emotional range, kinetic breadth and the diversity of genres in which he works. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for three decades. In the concert dance world, Varone has created a body of works globally. Commissions include the Limón Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Rambert Dance Company (London), Martha Graham Dance Company, Dancemakers (Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Bern Ballet (Switzerland) and An Creative (Japan), among others. In addition, his dances have been staged on more than 75 college and university programs around the country. Varone teaches workshops and master classes around the world for dancers, musicians and actors. He is currently on the faculty at Purchase College, teaching composition and choreography.
Douglas Fitch, Scenic Designer
Previous MV Performance: Orphic Moments (2018)
Visual artist, designer, and director Doug Fitch staged several groundbreaking productions with the New York Philharmonic: Le Grand Macabre, The Cunning Little Vixen and A Dancer’s Dream, which combined two ballets by Tchaikovsky. Le Grand Macabre will be remounted at the ElbPhilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany next year. He has created productions for Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Phil harmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and for Bard’s SummerScape Festival. His production of Elliot Carter’s What Next?, was filmed, then screened at MoMA. In 2016 he directed Orphic Moments, incorporating music of Matthew Aucoin with Gluck’s Orfeo, at National Sawdust, then at the Salzburg Landestheater. Also at National Sawdust he created a live animated version of Pictures at an Exhibition with pianist Alessio Bax, later performed again with Inon Barnaton at Town Hall. His cabaret, Doug Fitch’s Art Gallery Variety Show has appeared at National Sawdust and La Maison Francaise at Columbia University. Mr. Fitch co-founded Giants Are Small, who, with Universal Music and Deutsche Grammophon, developed an app, CD, and digital album called Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood, featuring Alice Cooper as narrator. Last May, Mr. Fitch narrated a live version of the story with the National Symphony Orchestra.