World Premiere of Tamar of the River, Starring Rocky's Margo Seibert, Opens Oct. 2
By Michael Gioia
Prospect Theater Company's world-premiere production of Tamar of the River, featuring music and book by Marisa Michelson and a book and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen — winners of the 2011 Jonathan Larson Grant — officially opens Oct. 2 for a run through Oct. 20 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center. Margo Seibert stars.
Directed by Daniel Goldstein (Godspell) with choreography by Chase Brock (Picnic, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, The Blue Flower), the piece features Seibert, who will star as Adrian in Broadway's Rocky, as Tamar.
Also in the cast are Ako (Throne of Blood), Erik Lochtefeld (February House), Mike Longo (Hair), Vince B. Vincent (Geography of Loss), Jen Anaya, Adam Bashian, Margot Bassett, Troy Burton, Tamrin Goldberg, Mary Kate Morrissey, Jeremy Greenbaum (The Fantasticks) and Aaron Komo.
Performances began Sept. 21.
Tamar of the River, according to PTC, "takes place in a war-torn world where the East and West are divided by a river red with blood. In this mythic landscape, one young woman is called to raise her voice. As Tamar sets out single-mindedly in pursuit of peace, she journeys to a foreign land, finding a new family and unexpected love. Inspired by the biblical story of Tamar, Cohen and Michelson bring to life an original new music theater work that illuminates the moral challenges inherent in the struggle for peace."
"Five years ago I was commissioned to conceive and write an original musical — just a few months before traveling to Neve Shalom (oasis of peace), a village co-founded by Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinian Arabs to demonstrate that the two peoples could live and work together peacefully," said composer and co-book writer Marisa Michelson in a statement. "Neve Shalom was physically beautiful, emotionally moving, and spiritually inspiring. Our story has its roots in the book of Genesis, but the realities of today's world serve as contextual soil out of which the aesthetic, tone, and urgency of our story has grown."
Lyricist and co-book writer Joshua H. Cohen added, "While Tamar of the River is intended to be a universal tale, rather than an allegory for any specific national conflict, it draws its milieu from the landscape of violence that seems to stretch forever in all directions, past and future -- and its inspiration from the small acts of hope and bravery undertaken by people on both sides of conflict, every day."
Other members of the creative team include scenic designer Brett J. Banakis, costume designer Candida K. Nichols, lighting designer Brian Tovar, sound designer Jeremy J. Lee and musical director Matt Aument.
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