The new musical A Letter to Harvey Milk celebrates its world-premiere opening at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre Off-Broadway March 6. Set in San Francisco in the 1980s, the story follows two unlikely people brought together by a letter penned to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected politician in California.
Leading the cast of the new musical are Adam Heller (It Shoulda Been You, Elf, Caroline or Change) and Julia Knitel (Beautiful, Bye Bye Birdie). Heller plays a widower and retired kosher butcher who finds an unexpected alliance with Barbara (Knitel), a young lesbian teacher at the senior center. The musical, which began performances February 1, deals with issues of friendship, grief, and self-acceptance.
A Letter to Harvey Milk is based on the short story of the same title by Lesléa Newman. The musical features lyrics by Ellen M. Schwartz, with additional lyrics by Cheryl Stern, music by Laura I. Kramer, and a book by Jerry James, Schwartz, Stern, and Kramer. Evan Pappas directs.
Completing the cast are Michael Bartoli (national tour of Joseph/Dreamcoat), Jeremy Greenbaum (Newsies), Aury Krebs (Rent), CJ Pawlikowski (national tour of Book of Mormon), and Cheryl Stern (La Cage Aux Folles).
The production features music direction by Jeffrey Lodin, orchestrations by Ned Ginsburg, set design by David Arsenault, costumes by Debbi Hobson, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, and sound design by David Margolin Lawso. Production stage manager is Ryan Gohsman.
A Letter to Harvey Milk is presented by Letter Productions LLC and associate producer/production supervisor SenovvA Production Core; it is executive-produced by Lisa Dozier King. Casting is by Stephanie Klapper.