The production, which began June 3 and opened June 29, concludes Second Stage Theatre's 24th season Off-Broadway. Originally scheduled to end July 20, the work extended prior to its opening due to strong ticket sales.
Zimmerman crafts a stagework that delves into the mind of Leonardo da Vinci through the words the legendary Renaissance man left behind on over 5,000 surviving pages. Using his theories, thoughts, instructions for artistic rendering, observations and personal memoranda, the Chicago-bred director-adapter assembled the work about the Italian scientist, architect, musician, inventor, philosopher and artist. Music, dance and acrobatics are used in the piece.
The co-production with California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre — where it will play starting Sept. 5 — reunites Zimmerman with many members of the Metamorphoses ensemble including Anjali Bhimani, Christopher Donahue, Kyle Hall, Doug Hara, Louise Lamson, and Mariann Mayberry. The company of Notebooks also features Lizzy Cooper Davis and Paul Oakley Stovall.
The design team for The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci includes Scott Bradley (sets) — who creates the chaotic world of da Vinci with a series of multi-functional filing cabinets — Mara Blumenfeld (costumes based on the original designs of Allison Reeds), T.J. Gerckens (lighting) and Rob Milburn with Michael Bodeen (sound). The production features original music composed by Miriam Strum and Michael Bodeen.
Zimmerman won the 2001-02 season's Tony for her direction of Metamorphoses, which began at Off-Broadway's Second Stage. Other Zimmerman works include The Odyssey, Arabian Nights, Journey To The West, Secret in the Wings, S/M and Eleven Rooms of Proust. One of Chicago's Lookingglass Theatre Company's most fruitful members, she has also directed Measure for Measure (New York Shakespeare Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Boston's Huntington Theatre Company) and All’s Well That Ends Well (Chicago's Goodman Theatre). Notebooks premiered at the Goodman Theatre in November of 1993 and was presented in New York City at the 1994 Serious Fun! Festival at Lincoln Center.
Tickets for the Second Stage staging of The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci at their midtown Manhattan space at 307 West 43rd Street (just off 8th Ave.) can be purchased through (212) 246-4422 or (800) 766-6048. For more information, visit them on the web at www.SecondStageTheatre.com.