By Michael Gioia
22 May 2014
Lippa will play Harvey Milk opposite Tony and Emmy Award winner Chenoweth as the soprano soloist. I Am Harvey Milk will feature the Orchestra of St. Luke's and introduce the 120-member All Star Broadway Men's Chorus.
Part choral work, part theatre piece, I Am Harvey Milk, according to press notes, "is an emotional celebration of an American hero. It weaves the story of Harvey Milk's life – from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California to his assassination."
Directed by Noah Himmelstein, the creative team also includes Joel Fram (musical director, conductor), Michele Lynch (choreography), Andrew Lazarow (projection design), Scott Lehrer (sound design), Wilson Chin (scenic consultation) and August Eriksmoen (orchestrations).
Founded in 1979, HMI has grown to become the oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and other at-risk youth services organization in the country.
I Am Harvey Milk had its world premiere last summer as part of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' 35th Anniversary Celebration concert, "Harvey Milk 2013." A live recording of the premiere was released last year and rose to No. 2 on the iTunes classical charts. The concert was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, along with Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus, Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus and Heartland Men's Chorus. Since its premiere, the piece has been made available to choruses to perform from coast to coast.
As previously announced, Lippa will perform the role of Harvey Milk with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) as part of GMCLA's 35th Anniversary concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall July 19-20.
Harvey Milk Day, May 22, celebrates the birthday of the gay rights pioneer. In Milk's honor, the United States Postal Service will launch a Harvey Milk commemorative stamp.
Tickets for the New York premiere of I Am Harvey Milk are available at IAmHarveyMilk.com. Tickets start at $40. Premium seats, including access to a VIP reception, start at $500.