Award-winning Off-Broadway company Ma-Yi Theater has announced that it will stage the world premiere of Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band, a rock musical inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s classic 1876 verse drama. According to Ma-Yi, the new work is also politically relevant in the wake of the recent presidential election.
Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band is created by Michi Barall, with music by Paul Lieber and Matt Park. Jack Tamburri, who also helped conceive the show, directs.
Performances of the new musical will begin January 17, 2017, with an official opening night set for January 22. The run is scheduled through February 11 at Off-Broadway’s new Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./NY Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street, New York.
The cast will be made up of actor-musicians: co-composer Park (Peer), playing guitar; co-composer Lieber (Bandleader, Troll King, Boyg, Boy, George, Captain), playing guitar and synthesizers; Mia Katigbak (Ose, Begriffenfeld, Priest), playing keyboard and synthesizers; Rocky Vega (Solvay), playing piano and keyboard; Uton Onyejekwe (Helga, Husband, John), playing bass; Angel Desai (Ingrid, Lady in Green, Anitra, Hannah, Angel), playing electric violin; and Titus Tompkins (Mads, Wife, Kesi, Strange Passenger), playing percussion and mandolin.
In Ma-Yi Theater Company’s remaking of Henrik Ibsen’s story, Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band follows a brash young man on a journey to discover his ultimate self. The show asks what it means when we sacrifice everything to be most fully ourselves. “With a new American President about to take office, Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band is both a cautionary tale, and a reminder of how to remain true to ourselves,“ state Ma-Yi production notes.
Scenic design is by Meredith Reis, costume design is by Asta Hostetter, lighting design is by Oliver Wason, and sound design is by Kenneth Goodwin.
The Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning Ma-Yi is dedicated to nurturing Asian-American voices in the theatre. The cast of Peer Gynt & the Norwegian Hapa Band is made up of Asian, Latin, African American, and Caucasian performers. For tickets and information visit Ma-Yitheatre.org.