Instead of another rendition of A Christmas Carol, Palo Alto's TheatreWorks brings the Broadway musical Triumph of Love to the Bay Area for the holidays. The Jeffrey Stock-Susan Birkenhead-James Magruder musical opens Dec. 2 at the Lucie Stern Theatre.
Based on Marivaux's 1732 comedy, Triumph of Love concerns the attempts of lovelorn princess Leonide to secure the affections of the exiled prince Agis. Disguising herself as a man, she infiltrates the home of the rigid Hermocrates and his sister Hesione, who are tutoring the young prince in philosophy. With the help of her comic servants, Corinne, Harlequin and Dimas, she hopes to win her man. Triumph was not a triumph on Broadway, despite stars Susan Egan, Betty Buckley and F. Murray Abraham, where it struggled through two months of performances from Oct. 23, 1997 to Jan. 4, 1998. A cast album was released on Jay Records a year later with the original performances preserved.
TheatreWorks artistic director Robert Kelley (Grapes of Wrath) directs. Debra Wiseman ("Bullets Over Broadway," Cyrano) stars as Leonide with Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award winner Livia Genise (Rags) as Hesione, Jonathan Rys Williams as Agis and Drama-Logue Award winner Steven Patterson (King of the Crystal Palace) as Hermocrates. Also in the cast are C. Kelly Wright (Corinne), Kirk Herring (Harlequin) and Patrick Flick (Dimas).
Performances of Triumph of Love began Nov. 29 for a run through Dec. 31. Tickets are $20-$38. The Lucie Stern Theatre is located at 1305 Middlefield . For tickets, call (650) 903-6000. TheatreWorks is on the web at http://www.theatreworks.org.
— By Christine Ehren