Musical February House, With Julian Fleisher, Stanley Bahorek and Kacie Sheik as Luminaries, Begins at Public

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08 May 2012

Kacie Sheik
Kacie Sheik
Photo by T. Charles Erickson

The world of 1940s Brooklyn bohemia comes to life in February House, the new musical by Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley, which begins Off-Broadway previews May 8 at the Public Theater.

February House, which brings to life a host of bohemian intellectuals, artists and icons of the '40s, premiered at the Long Wharf Theatre in February. It has a book by Bockley and a score by Kahane.

Davis McCallum (Water By the Spoonful, Elliot: A Soldier's Fugue, Sex Lives of Our Parents) directs the co-production between Long Wharf and the Public that will officially open Off-Broadway May 22 for a run through June 10.

Julian Fleisher portrays George Davis, who helped found the commune known as February House, located at 7 Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights. Also featured are Stanley Bahorek (Spelling Bee, See Rock City) as Benjamin Britten with Kacie Sheik (Hair) as Gypsy Rose Lee, Erik Lochtefeld (Metamorphoses, Candide) as W.H. Auden and Kristen Sieh (Gatz, "Boardwalk Empire") as Carson McCullers.

Completing the cast are Ken Barnett (Wonderful Town, The Green Bird) as Peter Pears, Ken Clark (La Cage aux Folles) as Reeves McCullers, Stephanie Hayes (Eurydice) as Erika Mann and A.J. Shively (La Cage aux Folles) as Chester Kallman.

Based on the Sherill Tippins biography "February House: The Story of W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Jane and Paul Bowles, Benjamin Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee, Under One Roof in Wartime America," the musical incorporates elements of classical operetta, jazz, musical comedy and modern folk-pop.

Here's how the creators bill February House: "Bringing together some of the greatest and most colorful minds of a generation, including W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, George Davis tries to create his own utopia in a small house in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s. The artists discover new ideas exploding at every turn as they find love, friendship and their own artistic voices in a time of war."

February House has scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Leon Rothenberg and musical direction by Andy Boroson.  Danny Mefford is choreographer.

For tickets phone (212) 967-7555 or visit Public Theater. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.