John Cullum Comes of Age in Wilder, the Erotic Chamber Musical, Opening Oct. 26

News   John Cullum Comes of Age in Wilder, the Erotic Chamber Musical, Opening Oct. 26 John Cullum stars as a man looking back at his coming of age — in a Depression-era brothel — in the erotic chamber musical, Wilder, opening Oct. 26 at Playwrights Horizons' intimate Peter Jay Sharp Studio Theater.
Jeremiah Miller and Lacey Kohl in Wilder.
Jeremiah Miller and Lacey Kohl in Wilder. Photo by Joan Marcus

Previews for the new Jack Herrick-Mike Craver-Erin Cressida Wilson musical, based on a play Wilson wrote, began Oct. 14.

The run continues to Nov. 14 at the upstairs studio space the Playwrights Horizons complex on West 42nd Street.

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Lisa Portes directs a company led by Cullum (Urinetown, On the Twentieth Century), who plays the title character. The musical features Lacey Kohl as Jessie/Melora and Jeremiah Miller as the younger Wilder.

"Wilder is an erotic chamber musical about a man who looks back on his life, having hit puberty while living in a Depression-era bordello," according to production notes. "Through its haunting music and frank sensuality, Wilder playfully and poetically explores a tangled landscape of Oedipal longing." Musician-composers Herrick and Craver, members of the Red Clay Ramblers, share co-author credit; the credit for book, music and lyrics blurred in the creation of the piece. Craver was one of the original creators and players in Oil City Symphony and co-wrote Radio Gals.

Cullum is a two-time Tony Award winner for Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century, and recently starred as Cladwell in Broadway's Urinetown.

Lacey Kohl appeared in Broadway's Grease!, Smokey Joe's Café, The Who's Tommy, Carousel.

Jeremiah Miller appeared Off-Broadway in True Love (Zipper Theatre), Celebration (York Theatre) and in a reading of a revision of a Horatio Alger inspired musical, Shine! (National Music Theatre Network).

Designers are G.W. Mercier (scenic and costume), Jane Cox (lighting) and Tom Morse (sound). Choreography is by Jane Comfort.

Erin Cressida Wilson's Off-Broadway plays include The Trail of Her Inner Thigh at Labyrinth Theatre Company, The Erotica Project at Joe's Pub (published by Cleis Press) and Hurricane at Classic Stage Company. Wilder is based on her own play, Cross-Dressing in the Depression, which was produced at Soho Rep and the Magic Theatre.

Director Portes was associate artistic director of Soho Rep (1996-98) and artistic director of the former Theater E in San Diego (1992-95). She has directed premieres, productions and workshops by her ongoing collaborators, Naomi Iizuka and Erin Cressida Wilson. She was associate director on The Who's Tommy and directing associate on the national tour of Titanic.

Playwrights Horizons is at 416 W. 42nd Street.

For subscription and ticket information, call (212) 279 4200 or visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

Lacey Kohl strikes a pose in <i>Wilder</i>.
Lacey Kohl strikes a pose in Wilder. Photo by Joan Marcus
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