Collegiate Chorale 2014-15 Season Will Feature Monty Python's Not The Messiah, The Road of Promise and More

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12 May 2014

Victoria Clark
Victoria Clark
Photo by Denise Winters

The New York premiere of Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy), the comic oratorio based on Monty Python's "Life of Brian," will kick off The Collegiate Chorale's 2014-15 season.

Not The Messiah will be performed Dec. 15-16 at Carnegie Hall by Tony nominee Eric Idle, Tony winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza, Cinderella), Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (9 to 5, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Tony nominee Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) and William Ferguson with conductor/director Ted Sperling and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Here's how the performance is billed: "From the creators of the hit Broadway musical Spamalot, Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) is a zany spoof on Handel's Messiah, based on Monty Python's 'Life of Brian.' Described by Eric Idle as 'Baroque-N-Roll,' Not The Messiah features a lively pastiche of musical styles ranging from pop, country, and Broadway to doo-wop, hip hop, and Greek chorus. Hit songs include 'Hail to the Shoe,' 'We Love Sheep,' and the audience favorite and sing-along 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.'"

The season will also feature George F. Handel's Susanna Feb. 3. 2015 at Town Hall. The performance will feature Isabel Leonard and Daniela Mack with conductor James Bagwell, director Ted Sperling and and the American Symphony Orchestra.

"Bridging the genres of oratorio and ballad opera, Handel's intriguing Susanna originally premiered at Covent Garden in 1749," press notes state. "Based on an apocryphal chapter from the biblical Book of Daniel, Susanna tells the story of a virtuous young woman who is falsely accused of sexual promiscuity by two lecherous elders. Aided by the boy prophet Daniel, the true nature of the elders is exposed and Susanna is proven innocent."



The Chorale will present the US premiere of The Road of Promise May 6-7 at Carnegie Hall. Adapted by Ed Harsh, the concert adaptation of The Eternal Road will feature music by Kurt Weill and libretto by Franz Werfel. The performance will feature Anthony Dean Griffey, five time Tony nominee Danny Burstein (Cabaret, Follies) and Mark Delavan with conductor/director Ted Sperling and the American Symphony Orchestra.

"The Road of Promise is a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel's 1937 epic musical spectacle, The Eternal Road," press notes state. "A dramatic mix of opera, musical theater, and biblical pageant play, The Road of Promise tells the story of a young boy left in the care of a Rabbi and his congregation in the wake of an anti-Jewish pogrom. To calm the boy's fears and help him understand his faith and heritage, the Rabbi recounts ancient biblical tales, and as he does, the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rachel, Moses, Ruth, Saul, and David all come to life."

Founded in 1941 by Robert Shaw, The Chorale has presented interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as commissions and premieres of new works by present-day artists.

More information is available by calling (646) 202-9623 or online at collegiatechorale.org.