About My Play and Opera Libretti

My first play, Satchmo at the Waldorf, will open in January of 2015 at Chicago’s Court Theatre and San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, after which it will be performed by Colorado Springs’ Theatreworks and Palm Beach Dramaworks. It closed off Broadway at the Westside Theatre on June 29, 2014, after 18 previews and 136 performances, subsequently transferring in the spring of 2015 to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Ca. That production, which will also be seen in San Francisco and Colorado Springs, was directed by Gordon Edelstein, with John Douglas Thompson appearing in the triple role of Louis Armstrong, Joe Glaser, and Miles Davis. John won the 2013-14 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle “Outstanding Solo Performance” awards for his performance. Satchmo was previously seen in 2012 at Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, Mass., Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Conn., and Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater.

For information about upcoming productions, go here.

Satchmo at the Waldorf is published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc. To inquire about obtaining rights to produce the play, go here.

To see John Douglas Thompson on stage in Satchmo at the Waldorf, go here. To watch a Wall Street Journal-produced video interview with me, go here. To watch John and me discuss Satchmo at the Waldorf on Theater Talk, go here. To read my program note, go here.

To read the Boston Globe review, go here. To read the New York Times review, go here. To read a New York Times feature about the play, go here.

I have also written the libretti for three operas by Paul Moravec. The latest is The King’s Man, a one-act drama about Benjamin and William Franklin that was premiered by Kentucky Opera on Oct. 11, 2013. For more information, go here. To read an essay by me about The King’s Man, go here.

The King’s Man is a companion piece to our second opera, Danse Russe, a one-act backstage comedy about the making of The Rite of Spring that was commissioned by Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater and premiered there on April 28, 2011. (It was later revived by Kentucky Opera on the same bill as The King’s Man.) To view excerpts from the opera and see Paul and me talk about its creation, go here.

Paul and I began our collaboration with The Letter, a full-evening operatic version of Somerset Maugham’s 1927 play that was commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera in 2006 and opened there on July 25, 2009. To see excerpts from the opera, go here.

Below are links to my reports on the writing, staging, premiere, and reception of the original production of The Letter:

Lend me your ears (and eyes)
Men at work
Men at work (II)
Men at work (III)
Men at work (IV)
For better and worse
Men at work (V)
Men (and women) at work (VI)
The case for lower-case opera
The envelope, please
Right turn at Albuquerque
Moment’s notice
Men at work (VII)
Scene stealing (I)
Scene stealing (II)
Becoming an artist
In one piece
Among the brethren
By the clock
Size matters
No, but I heard the movie
The Doctor is in
A doll’s house
Free at last
Looking for trouble
Cover story
Step away from the car, sir
A ripping good show
All blessings are mixed
Tied to the tracks
A very small world
A little taste
Now’s the time
Another little taste
And…they’re off!
Who’d have thought it?
Tweeting an opera
Head first
At the starting gate
Minute by minute
Modern opera in a nutshell
Pit stop
All there is
The news in brief
In a mist
Did Maugham know best?
We know every part by heart
How it felt
Unrest cure
Blowin’ in the wind

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