The Public Theater's Southern Comfort Begins Tonight

News   The Public Theater's Southern Comfort Begins Tonight The folk and bluegrass-inspired musical exploring transgender life makes its New York debut.
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Matthew Murphy

Previews begin Feb. 23 for the Public Theater production of Southern Comfort, a folk and bluegrass-inspired musical that explores transgender life.

The complete cast features Donnie Cianciotto, Lizzie Hagstedt, Jeffrey Kuhn, Elizabeth Ward Land, David M. Lutken, Jeff McCarthy, Morgan Morse, Annette O’Toole, Aneesh Sheth, Robin Skye and Joel Waggoner.

The production is scheduled to run through March 27, with an official opening night set for March 8.

Directed by Thomas Caruso, the new musical features a book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis.

Based on Kate Davis’ 2001 Sundance Award-winning documentary, Southern Comfort was conceived for the stage by Robert DuSold and Caruso. It tells the true story of a group of transgender friends living life on their own terms in rural Georgia. The Public describes it as "a celebration of redefining family and choosing love over every obstacle."

"Southern Comfort is a beautiful, gentle, complicated look at a community that has been maligned, misunderstood, and oppressed for centuries," said artistic director Oskar Eustis in an earlier press statement. "We are proud to present this groundbreaking and moving piece of theater."

On March 7 the theatre will host a free Public Forum titled A Town Hall Meeting: Gender Identity, Representation, Theater. Additionally, post-show talkbacks will be held following performances on March 3 and March 16 with members of the show’s cast and creative team, along with a series of Audience Conversations, a new form of post-show interaction that poses a big question and invites the audience to engage with a moderator in the pursuit of answers.

Winner of the Jonathan Larson Award, the show received its BSC Musical Theatre Lab world-premiere production at Barrington Stage Company in 2013, preceded by the NAMT 2012 Festival of New Musicals, and a developmental reading at Playwrights Horizons in 2010.

Tickets are available by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting PublicTheater.org or in person at the box office located at 425 Lafayette St., Astor Place, Manhattan.

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