Composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa, who musicalized the life and cultural influence of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, will debut his latest work, Unbreakable, a musical chronology spanning more than 100 years of LGBTQ American history this June.
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, who premiered Lippa’s I Am Harvey Milk in 2013, will present the world premiere of Unbreakable June 22–23 at the Nourse Theater. As he did with Harvey Milk, Lippa will also perform in the work alongside principal vocalists Lisa Vroman, Britney Coleman, and Marcus Paige.
SFGMC commissioned the 70-minute piece in honor of its 40th anniversary.
The 70-minute project will document the cultural evolution of gay rights in America, highlighting flashpoints in gay history and giving voice to LGBTQ Americans whose achievements and contributions to their country have gone unrecognized, including lesbian activist Jane Addams, the first woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931; transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance; and Lem Billings, John F. Kennedy's best friend and political ally.
“Following up on the success of I Am Harvey Milk, I wanted to tackle something even larger,” Lippa said in a statement. “Taking my cue from playwright August Wilson, whose 10-play cycle chronicling the 20th Century African-American experience served as my inspiration, I decided to take on the evolution of gay rights in America. Unbreakable is my musical tribute to the LGBTQ community – how we evolved, triumphed, suffered, and soared. It’s also my lament for a world still full of bakers who won’t bake for us, lawmakers who won’t make for us, and conservative minds who won’t wake for us. Unbreakable is not only a statement of how we have reacted in the past. It’s a statement of how we must go forward.”
Lippa is the Tony Award-nominated composer-lyricist of Big Fish, The Addams Family, and The Wild Party.
Robert Kelley will direct the premiere of Unbreakable, which will feature the 250-member San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig.
For tickets, visit sfgmc.org.