Shakespeare Theatre promises both spice and funk when its concert version of Two Gentlemen of Verona (a Rock Opera) opens for a three day run Jan 27th.
Javier Muñoz and Robin De Jesus, both award winning members of the Broadway production of In the Heights, play the gentleman Proteus and the servant Speed, Terence Archie will be best friend Valentine, vying for the favors of Silvia, DC favorite Eleasha Gamble (Oklahoma!).
The musical which enjoyed a long run on Broadway in 1971/72 was the work of composer Galt MacDermot (Hair), and Pulitzer-winning playwright John Guare (House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation) and won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical in 1972.
Among the area actors in the cast are Florrie Bagel (Speech & Debate), Manu Narayan (The Rivals), Carolyn Agan (Man of La Mancha), Kevin S. McAllister (Parade), Katie McManus (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Juan Carlos Sanchez (High Fidelity) and Chris Sizemore (Candide).
Director Amanda Denhert is collaborating with the designers from the New York Philharmonic’s star-studded concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical Company to create this special musical concert. Although actors will carry scripts, STC tells us, there will be some musical staging including choreography by Spencer Liff and one-of-a-kind costumes.
Dehnert comments “This is such a funny, free, spontaneous piece of musical theatre. It doesn’t conform to any tradition that came before it, and it still stands as a testament to what can be created with a spirit of adventure, a desire to reach an audience and the willingness to take creative risks.”
STC is celebrating its 25th year with the concert series The Bard’s Broadway, given a very successful opening in November with The Boys from Syracuse.
STC audiences will be treated to two very different takes on the comedy of two friends adrift in the big city. The 70’s musical concert version runs concurrent with STC’s mainstage production which gives Shakespeare’s play The Two Gentlemen of Verona a contemporary twist at the Lansburgh Theatre (Jan 17 – March 4 ).
Two Gentlemen of Verona (a Rock Opera) plays Friday and Saturday, Jan 27 at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and Sunday at 7:30pm at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC. For tickets, order online or call (202) 547-1122.