Hartford Stage Will Premiere Gentlemen's Guide Musical, With Jefferson Mays, in 2012-13; Season Revealed

By Adam Hetrick
16 Mar 2012

Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays will star in the world-premiere musical comedy A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder as part of Hartford Stage's 2012-2013 season, which will also offer the world premiere of Daniel Beaty's Breath & Imagination-The Story of Roland Hayes.



The season will launch with a revival of Henrik Ibsen's classic Hedda Gabler, running Aug. 30-Sept. 23.

Mays (I Am My Own Wife, Pygmalion) will lead the cast of the new musical A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder, directed by Hartford Stage artistic director Darko Tresnjak Oct. 11-Nov. 4. It has a book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak.

The work is based on the novel "Israel Rank" by Roy Horniman. Here's how Hartford characterizes the musical: "Set in the elegant Edwardian era, A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder traces the brilliant trajectory of Monty Navarro — a charmer, seducer and avenger — on his quest for recognition and family fortune."

Beaty (Through the Night) will be represented with Breath & Imagination-The Story of Roland Hayes, also staged by Tresnjak, Jan. 10-Feb. 3, 2013. According to Hartford Stage, "Before Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, there was Roland Hayes — the first world-renowned African-American classical vocalist. Born the son of a slave, Roland discovered his voice as a young boy singing spirituals in church. This play chronicles his amazing journey from the plantation the plantation in Georgia, to singing before kings and queens in Europe. Breath and Imagination explores the life of an American pioneer through words, movement, spirituals and classical music."

A revival of Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley's Abundance will follow April 4-28, 2013, under the direction of Jenn Thompson, the co-artistic director of Off-Broadway's TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (The Eccentricities of a Nightingale and the current Lost in Yonkers). "This wickedly funny and deeply touching tall tale follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Bess and Macon, two mail-order brides, on their 25-year journey across the American frontier. An epic tale about bygone America, both strange and strangely familiar," according to Hartford Stage.

Elliot Norton Award-winner Kate MacCluggage will star in Tresnjak's staging of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which will run May 16-June 16, 2013.

The annual holiday production of A Christmas Carol will return Nov. 23-Dec. 29.

An additional title is expected to be announced.

For tickets and more information, phone (860) 527-5151 or visit hartfordstage.org.